The Austin College and East Texas Baptist University football teams combined for more than 1,000 yards of total offense, but it was the Tigers who came out on top in handing the 'Roos a 52-34 loss on Saturday afternoon in the team's home opener at Jerry Apple Stadium. The 'Roos are now 0-2 on the year.
The 'Roo defense started strong as Tre Stewart forced a fumble on a sack, but Austin College was unable to capitalize and after getting the ball back on a punt the Tigers marched 72 yards in 10 plays culminating in a John Gamble five yard touchdown run, and a two point conversion made it 8-0 with 7:49 left in the first. However, the 'Roos would strike back quickly as Noah Jesko found Kyle Crawford for a 53 yard touchdown pass jut 43 seconds later to make it an 8-6 game.
ETBU's Toi Glover scored from three yards out on the ensuing possession and another two point conversion made it 16-7 with 4:31 left in the first, but Jesko found Madison Ross for a 13 yard score with 33 seconds left in the quarter to cut it to a 16-13 game. The Tigers got an eight yard touchdown toss from Brooks Holder to Chris Frazier with just under 10 minutes left in the half, but Austin College got a five yard touchdown run from Ross to cut it to a 23-20 game at the break.
East Texas Baptist added to its lead early in the second half when Holder found Jamaine Sherman for a 36 yard touchdown reception, but a wide receiver option pass from Cooper Woodyard to Crawford from 11 yards out got the 'Roos back to within three at 30-27 midway through the third. The Tigers would add one more score in the quarter to extend their lead to 36-27 heading into the fourth.
Glover would add to the ETBU lead early in the fourth with his second rushing touchdown of the game to push it to a 42-27 game, and a 32 yard field goal by Cory McNeil pushed it to a 45-27 game with 8:21 left. However, the 'Roos went 64 yards on 10 plays on the next possession capped off by a five yard touchdown strike from Jesko to Brandon Rawls to trim it to a 45-34 game with just over five minutes remaining. However, Holder would find Roy Butler for a 31 yard touchdown pass with 1:24 remaining to seal the victory for the Tigers.
Jesko finished the day completing 26-of-47 passes for 333 yards with three touchdowns and two picks, and Crawford hauled in six catches for 113 yards and a pair of scores. Ross finished with 56 receiving yards on nine catches and scored on the ground and through the air. Defensively, Stephen Young led the 'Roos with 12 tackles and Logan Estes had 10 stops. Scott Loy added nine tackles and picked off a pass in the loss.
Holder completed 31-of-40 passes for 316 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, with Sherman having a huge day catching the ball with 12 receptions for 175 yards and a score. Glover finished with 153 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns and added a receiving touchdown. Dylan Benge had six tackles, including 1.5 for loss, to lead the Tigers defensively. ETBU finished with 611 yards of total offense, while the 'Roos had 410 for the game.
Austin College heads to California next week when they take on Occidental College with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. local time.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.