ETBU football

ETBU’s Justin Ward looks for running room against Hardin-Simmons on Saturday.

ETBU Sports Information

ABILENE -- Unable to score in the red zone early, the ETBU football fell to No. 16 Hardin-Simmons University, 45-0, in American Southwest Conference play. The loss drops the Tigers to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the ASC.

Brian Baca went 18-of-34 for 169 yards passing. Jalen Blanton had five receptions for 46 yards, which led all ETBU receivers while Davion Carter caught a team-high 52 yards on three receptions. Justin Ward carried the ball 20 times for 64 yards. KJ Kelley (17 tackles) and Justice Henson (10 tackles) both reached double-digits in tackles while Sirbatian Charles recorded an interception.

HSU outgained ETBU in first downs 26-20. The Cowboys rushed for 238 yards and passed for 273 for a total of 511 yards. Kyle Jones went 15-of-17 for 232 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Brennen Wooten went 2-for-2 passing for 41 yards and a touchdown. Jaquan Hemphill had 15 carries for 63 yards and one touchdown. Kevin Evans caught four passes for 135 yards and one touchdown.

Each team was forced to punt on their first drives. HSU’s next possession led to an interception by Charles, giving ETBU early momentum. ETBU was unable to capitalize and was forced to punt. The third drive by the Cowboys was their first score of the game on a 35-yard pass from Wooten to Evans for an early 7-0 lead. After another ETBU punt, the Cowboys managed to put up another touchdown drive when Hayden Day punched it in from two yards out to give his team a 14-0 lead with 2:01 left in the first quarter.

ETBU opened the second quarter driving into the red zone for a second time down to the four-yard line before they went for a field goal. The 29-yard attempt went wide left and gave the ball back to HSU. After stopping HSU after the missed field goal, ETBU made its third drive into the red zone down to the five-yard only to turn the ball over on downs still trailing, 14-0. The Cowboys then take over the ball that drive down the field and make it, 21-0, on a six-yard run from Hemphill. HSU scored one more time before halftime when Jones connected with Jaxson Money for a 19-yard strike, putting the Cowboys up 28-0.

The Cowboys extended their lead to 31-0 on a field goal on their first possession in the third quarter. After forcing another ETBU punt, HSU executed an 11-play drive for 76 yards to lead 38-0 and end the quarter in command.

The Tigers’ drive continued into the fourth quarter as they pushed down to the 11-yard line of HSU when they fumbled the ball and Cowboys scooped up the ball returning it to the ETBU 26-yard line stopping yet another drive in the red zone. From there, it would take one play to extend their lead to 45-0, when Jones found Jalen Crawford for the 26-yard score. That ended up being the final score.

ETBU will have one final game this season on the road in Pineville, La. next Saturday against Louisiana College playing for “The Claw.” Kickoff is at noon.