Time of Poss.
MARSHALL, Texas – Scoring 45 points in the second half, including 24 unanswered, the East Texas Baptist University football team used their offense to unload on the Belhaven University Blazers 79-40. This marks the third time in the last two seasons that ETBU has scored more than 70 points in a game. It also improves their record to 3-0 on the season for the second year in a row and they are now 2-0 in American Southwest Conference play.
"It was a see-saw battle in the first half and I think that the difference was we never lost our poise, even on defense, as we stiffened up in the second half. This was good for us. It was good for us to be behind and have to fight and fight for this victory. I am just proud of them," said head coach Scott Highsmith.
Dru Smith once again led the offense with 408 passing yards on 26-of-35 and four touchdown passes. Justin Ward (74 yards) and Dominic Haggerty (70 yards) both had nine rushes and 70+ yards rushing. Cameron Goodlett caught 10 passes for 112 yards while Xavier Gray added 163 yards on five receptions. Both players had two touchdown receptions in the game. On defense, Ty Parsons and Caleb Taylor were the leading tacklers with 14 and 12 respectively. CJ Johnson added nine tackles, including 4.5 sacks, which contributed to 10 total sacks by ETBU's defense. Zack Biles made his mark with an 84-yard pick six in the third quarter.
ETBU's offense finished the night with 632 yards of total offense as 455 yards came in the air. Every time ETBU went to the red zone, they scored going six-for-six on the night. The defense also had a great night with 10 sacks and one interception for a touchdown.
BU's Hunter McEachern had a 33-of-51 performance with 482 yards and six touchdown passes. Jacob McNeil caught 11 passes and had 184 receiving yards and a touchdown while LaMar Caradine caught five passes and 102 yards, which included three touchdown receptions.
Despite giving up an early touchdown, ETBU answered with three unanswered scores coming from two touchdown runs by Smith and Ward while Gray caught a 25 yard pass from Smith. BU responded with two touchdowns, but a missed extra point cost them a chance to tie it at 21. ETBU then scored two more touchdowns on passes from Smith to Tarek Beaugard (13 yards) and a 91 yard strike to Gray. The Blazers cut the lead to 34-26 at halftime.
In the third quarter, ETBU added to their lead with a 32 yard rush by Haggerty and a 22 yard reception by Goodlett. Though BU would answer with a touchdown to make it 48-32, ETBU's 24 unanswered points would be the difference as a Ryan Travis field goal, a 84-yard pick-six from Zack Biles, a four yard rush from Ward, and a three-yard pass to Goodlett had ETBU up 72-32. Both teams would score one final touchdown with Brian Baca scoring from six-yards out.
ETBU will be back home next Saturday when they host the #8 Hardin-Simmons University at 7:00 p.m.