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Around the ASC: Hardin-Simmons edges TLU in game decided on final play

There was plenty of action around the ASC on Saturday afternoon, and the first halves of all four games were remarkably competitive. Some, like the wins for ETBU and Hardin-Simmons, were decided on the final play. Here’s a look at how the ASC slate played out in Week 7. 

Hardin-Simmons edges Texas Lutheran in near upset

For the second straight week, Hardin-Simmons was put on upset alert. And for the second straight week, the Cowboys found a way to pull out a victory, edging Texas Lutheran, 27-22, at home. 

With quarterback Gaylon Glynn back in the lineup, and a crowd of over 3,000 on hand for homecoming, the Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Running back Noah Garcia tallied 86 rushing yards on the second drive of the game, and scored HSU’s first touchdown with a 28-yard sprint to the end zone. 

After DaKory Willis put TLU on the board with a short rushing touchdown of his own, the Buldogs recovered their own punt on an ensuing drive, just eight yards from the end zone. Caden Bosanko, starting his second game at quarterback for TLU in the absence of starter Seth Cosme, ran the ball across the goal line, giving the Bulldogs a 15-14 lead. 

Another touchdown from Garcia, this time on a 44-yard pass from Glynn in the third quarter, made it 27-15, before TLU responded with a score of their own. With the deficit at five points late in the fourth quarter, TLU drove all the way down the field, reaching HSU’s 12-yard line. But the Cowboy defensive front forced Bosanko into an incompletion as time expired, allowing the nation’s 20th-ranked team to hold onto its homecoming win. 

Glynn was 22-of-29 for 224 yards and two touchdowns in his return. Garcia rushed for 111 yards for HSU. 

Three interceptions aid ETBU in 14-13 win over McMurry

It came down to the difference of a single point in a low-scoring, defense-dominated battle between ETBU and McMurry in Marshall, Texas on Saturday; a contest that ETBU won narrowly, 14-13. 

ETBU’s defense stepped up in a big way, with three interceptions, including one from Keewan Grismore with under a minute left in the fourth quarter that sealed the win as McMurry was making one last effort on the Warhawks’ final drive. 

But it was McMurry who scored first, with a nine-play, 62-yard drive ending in Karmelus Card’s 28-yard receiving touchdown midway through the first quarter. ETBU’s offensive response came six minutes into the second, as quarterback Carlos Garibay, making his first start of the season, found Zay Thomas for a 33-yard score. 

With halftime nearing, and the score knotted at 7-7, the Tigers ran a fast-paced drive that spanned just one minute, 11 seconds, as ETBU went 44 yards. It culminated in Trayjen Llanas-Wilcox’s three-yard touchdown reception from Garibay, as the Tigers led 14-7 at halftime. 

McMurry scored on Jess Hoel’s second passing touchdown with 5:07 in the third, but it was ETBU’s Dominick Williams who came up with perhaps the biggest play of the second half, as he blocked McMurry’s extra-point attempt. It kept ETBU in front for the remainder of the game.

Though shutout in second half, 28-point second quarter gives Howard Payne the victory

A 28-point second quarter distanced Howard Paye from Austin College in Saturday afternoon’s 35-11 win for the Yellow Jackets in Brownwood. 

The game got off to a rather auspicious start as HPU was called for holding in the end zone on its first play from scrimmage. That resulted in a safety for Austin, who briefly took a 2-0 lead before HPU regained the advantage on a 12-play, 63-yard touchdown drive. 

Consecutive field goals from Austin’s John Aldridge put the ‘Roos back in front, 8-7, early in the second quarter, as HPU’s offense looked to find traction. It was the Yellow Jacket defense that put HPU back in front, as KJ Kelley intercepted a pass from Austin quarterback Jaylon Talton, and returned it 35 yards for a score. 

21 points in the final three minutes of the half made a one-score game a 27-point game, as HPU had its way against the ‘Roos defense. Midway through the fourth, the Yellow Jackets began a drive on their own 1-yard line, and promptly marched 99 yards in 15 plays, capping the drive with a 26-yard touchdown reception by Gus Charles. Then with 2:56 left in the quarter, Austin lined up to punt, but the snap was dropped, and HPU took possession just five yards away from the end zone. One play later, McKinney found Jordan Carroll in the end zone for a touchdown. 

HPU closed the quarter with a fast-paced possession that took just one minutes, 23 seconds, yet spanned 80 yards and 10 plays. It resulted in an 18-yard touchdown catch by Jordan Carroll with 11 seconds left. 

The Austin defense had a solid second half, shutting out HPU over the final two quarters. The lone scoring play of the entire second half was a field goal from Aldridge that allowed Austin to reach the double-digit mark in points for the first time since a 34-23 win at Crown College on Sept. 23. 

UMHB extends win streak to three against Sul Ross State

UMHB won its third straight game on Saturday afternoon, using a strong showing over the final two quarters en route to a 37-13 win over Sul Ross State. SRSU was shutout in the second half. 

UMHB opened the game with a safety, as SRSU punter Chris Ruiz was tackled in the end zone on the Lobos’ first drive. But the lead soon changed hands three times, as SRSU took a 7-2 lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cyrin Miles, who was making his first start of the season at quarterback. UMHB quarterback Isaac Phe found Christopher Gacayan soonafter for a score, before SRSU retook the lead, 10-9, on a 40-yard field goal. 

It was only a three-point game at half, with UMHB up 16-13, but The Cru made a statement over the final two quarters. A pick-six from Johnny Smith-Rider on SRSU’s first possession of the third quarter put UMHB up by 10. Early in the fourth quarter, it was the special teams unit who made another big play, as UMHB’s Solomon Hopkins blocked a punt from Ruiz, and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Ozias Wright’s 20-yard run capped the scoring for UMHB, who are now at .500 (3-3 overall) for the first time this season. 

Read more about the game in our in-depth game story here: Big special teams plays, Smith-Rider’s pikc-six highlight UMHB Football’s 37-13 win over Sul Ross State

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