Both schools now are 1-1 in the United Athletic Conference, a merger between the Atlantic Sun and Western Athletic conferences.
Tarleton State led 20-0 at halftime. But Justin Miller led a comeback with three second-half touchdown passes before Lopez's scoop-and-score for the game winner.
Victor Gabalis threw an 11-yard score to Britten before halftime to stake the Texans to the lead. Miller responded with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Anson Kraut. He followed that with a short touchdown pass to Timothy Patrick to make it 20-14 after three. Caleb Lewis scored to start the fourth quarter to put Tarleton up, 26-14 after the Texans missed on a two-point conversion attempt. Miller responded with a 12-yard scoring pass to Targhee Lambson to reduce the deficit to 26-21.
On third-and-four from the Tarleton State 26, the Thunderbirds (2-4) swarmed Britten for a three-yard loss and knocked it loose for Lopez to return it.
Britten finished with 93 yards on 17 carries to lead Tarleton State (4-2).
Miller completed 34 of 45 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.
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