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Around the ASC: McMurry breaks through with big win

Your summary of the week’s results in ASC Football action

McMurry upsets Howard Payne, hands Yellow Jackets second conference loss

In the previous two weeks, McMurry lost two conference games by a total of four points. The first came in overtime to a nationally-ranked Hardin-Simmons team, who pulled out a 19-16 win. Last week on the road at ETBU, McMurry fell by the slimmest of margins, 14-13.

But on Saturday, there was no such single-digit result. Against Howard Payne, one of the conference’s title contenders, McMurry made a statement, winning 45-21. The Warhawks outscored HPU 24-7 in the second half. 

After HPU got on the board early with a Landon McKinney touchdown pass, McMurry tied the score on a Marshall Tovar punt return. The Warhawks then took charge in a key turn of events that decided the outcome, scoring twice in the span of just over five minutes, as they took a 21-7 lead. Another touchdown pass from McKinney cut the McMurry lead to 21-14 at halftime. 

HPU never got within single digits again. A Jared Mendoza field goal put McMurry up 24-14 by the end of the third quarter, but with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth, HPU remained in striking distance, trailing 31-21. However, Warhawk quarterback Jess Hoel tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass for a 38-21 lead, and McKinney fumbled as he was hit from behind on the ensuing possession. That led to another score less than a minute later, as McMurry went up 45-21, and never relinquished the advantage. 

McMurry forced three turnovers; an interception and two fumbles in the contest. While HPU had 399 total yards of offense to McMurry’s 386, the turnovers cost the Yellow Jackets multiple scoring opportunities. The win is McMurry’s first in conference play this season, while HPU drops to 2-2 in conference action. 

Hardin-Simmons makes statement in Alpine

An outstanding rushing attack led to a statement victory from Hardin-Simmons heading into next Saturday’s duel with UMHB in Abilene. 

The Cowboys racked up 282 rushing yards in a 51-7 win over Sul Ross State on Saturday in Alpine, Texas, moving to 6-1 overall in 2023. 

HSU wasted no time gaining an advantage, as running back Noah Garcia broke out a 54-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the first quarter. The SRSU defense held up decently well for the remainder of the first, but everything unraveled for the Lobos in a 34-point second quarter. Three touchdown runs from three different running backs and a pair of touchdown passes that each went for over 40 yards led to a 41-0 halftime lead for the Cowboys. 

Colton Marshall had a team-high 90 rushing yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Gaylon Glynn was 11-of-22 on passing attempts for 224 yards. Linebacker Matt Mitchell returned to action and led the team in tackles, with five. Mitchell’s return makes things more interesting from a defensive standpoint heading into next Saturday’s matchup with UMHB. 

ETBU pulls out 16-6 win on the road at TLU

ETBU won its second straight game on Saturday afternoon in Seguin, defeating Texas Lutheran in the Bulldogs’ homecoming game, 16-6. 

In a matchup dominated by defense, ETBU found a way to break through with points on an 80-yard drive early in the first quarter. Trayjen Llanas-Wilcox pulled in the 53-yard touchdown reception, putting the Tigers in front, 7-0. ETBU added a field goal from Pedro Cavazos midway through the second quarter, taking a 10-0 lead into the half. 

Paul Woodward added an eight-yard rushing touchdown for the visitors from Marshall, before TLU erased the shutout with 4:06 in the third on DaKory Willis’ 43-yard touchdown catch. The late score made things interesting late, especially when TLU drove to the ETBU two-yard line. But the Bulldogs were unable to convert, and missed a field goal attempt that would have made it a one-possession game. 

Interestingly, both teams tallied exactly 334 yards of total offense. But TLU’s Bryce Nirider threw two interceptions, which contributed to ETBU’s victory. The Tigers were led offensively by Llanas-Wilcox, who had 132 receiving yards on five receptions. 

UMHB rolls to victory at Austin College

Isaac Phe threw four touchdown passes, three of which went to tight end Christopher Gacayan as the Crusaders took down Austin College 49-14, remaining undefeated in ASC play. 

Trashawn Adams contributed with a key pick-six in the second quarter, as his touchdown extended the UMHB lead to 21-7, and took away much of the momentum that had been trending in Austin College’s favor.

To read more on this matchup, read our postgame story here.

Updated ASC Standings

Hardin-Simmons, 3-0

UMHB, 3-0

ETBU, 3-1

Howard Payne, 2-2

McMurry, 1-3

Texas Lutheran, 0-3

Austin College, 0-3

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