Cowboys End Season With 24-10 Loss To Linfield

Cowboys End Season With 24-10 Loss To Linfield
ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' football team fell 24-10 in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs at Shelton Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Cowboys started the game off by forcing a Linfield punt on the first possession and an 18-yard punt return by Alex Bell set the Cowboys up at the Linfield 39. HSU drove the ball down and Garrett Martin was fighting for the end zone when the ball was punched away at the 1-yard line and the Wildcats recovered.

HSU stopped the Wildcats again this time on a fourth-down and again the Cowboys drove the ball to the Linfield 10 but back-to-back sacks forced a 38-yard field goal by Nico Francino that was good to give the Cowboys a 3-0 lead with 2:48 to play in the first quarter.

The Wildcats then missed a field goal by Willy Warne on the next possession, but Linfield intercepted a Ryan Breton pass on the ensuing possession. Sam Riddle then hit a 45-yard pass on the first play of the drive to Reed Peterson down to the five and after a Cowboy sack Riddle found Peterson on a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-3.

HSU responded with a 70-yard 8-play drive that Breton capped with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Martin to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead with 6:27 to play in the half.

Linfield answered with a 9-play 63-yard drive that Bryan Cassill capped with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10 late in the second quarter and that was the halftime score.

Neither team was able to score in the third quarter. Linfield missed another short field goal to start the fourth quarter but the Cowboys went three and out and Linfield had a short field and quickly went 42 yards in four plays with Sutter Choisser scoring a 14-yard run to make it 21-10 with 12:28 to play.

HSU punted again on the next possession and the Wildcats churned out a 12-play drive that took 6:43 off the clock and ended in a 43-yard Warne field goal to make it 24-10 with 3:34 to play. The Cowboys turned it over on down the next drive and Linfield ran out the clock on the victory.

The Cowboys were outgained 554-269 in the game and HSU had just 15 yards on the ground.

Breton ended his career with a 23-for-41 day for 254 yards and a touchdown. Martin had eight catches for 128 yards and a score.

Riddle went 21-for-36 for Linfield for 367 yards. Peterson had 11 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown.

Josh White led the Cowboys with 14 tackles and Duke Mackie had eight tackles for Linfield.

HSU ends the season with a record of 9-2 for the second straight year. Linfield is now 9-1 and will play Mary Hardin-Baylor in the second round.
It was the final game for 22 HSU seniors.

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