Early deficit proves too large as Pirates fall 25-6 on Homecoming
GEORGETOWN – A tale of two halves proved to be the difference Saturday as the Southwestern University football team fell to Austin College on Homecoming, 25-6 at Birkelbach Field.
The Pirates (0-8, 0-2) matched the 'Roos (4-5, 1-1) in the second half as the teams traded field goals in the SCAC contest; however it was a 20-point first quarter that propelled the visitors to the victory and kept Southwestern winless on the season.
After holding the 'Roos to a punt on their first possession, Southwestern looked as if they were going to take early control of the game. Using a variety of offensive weapons the Pirates changed the pace before a fumble deep in Austin territory gave the 'Roos the ball at their own 42-yard line.
Austin was able to capitalize quickly on the turnover as they turned to their rushing attack much like they did in the first meeting. Bryce Murphy rumbled 58-yards on the ensuing play to give Austin the early 7-0 lead.
A quick three-and-out for the Pirates again saw the 'Roos find the end zone as their ground game netted 269 yards and three touchdowns. The second score came from James Nwankpah in a quick 4-play 79 drive that only took 1:36 off the clock.
A second Murphy touchdown with 3:12 left in the first quarter saw Austin take 20-0 lead before the Pirate offense started clicking. Bryan Hicks found Matt Gillen twice on the drive including once for 29-yards before the Pirates were forced to settle for a field goal.
Laith Tucker connected on the first of two field goals as his first came from 42-yards out just before the first quarter ended.
The 'Roos added two more points when a Michael Erwin punt was blocked and pushed out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
The Pirates looked as if they had answered on the next drive march 79 yards before a Hicks to Gillen passed was ruled incomplete after the officials met in a conference. The incomplete pass came on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Hicks was solid in his first start at quarterback finishing 23-of-39 for 216 yards. Gillen also proved to be a steady weapon in the offense finishing with 10 catches for 145 yards in the loss.
Defensively the Pirates were led by Zach Martin who finished with a game-high 11 tackles as the Southwestern defense held Austin to just three points in the second half. Alex Lee and AJ McCort also finished with double figure tackles adding 10 each as Lee added a sack and two tackles for a loss.
Neither team was able to score before the intermission as the momentum for both teams stalled.
Andrew Klink and Tucker each traded field goals in the third quarter as Austin pushed its lead to 25-6, the game's eventual final score.
Southwestern heads on the road for its final two home games starting with a SCAC meeting at Trinity. Kickoff from San Antonio is set for 1 p.m.