Hardin-Simmons vs. Texas Lutheran
6 p.m. | Sept. 12, 2015 | Bulldog Stadium
Radio: 100.7 FM
Internet Broadcast: www.hsuathletics.com
Play-by-play: Al Pickett
Color Commentary: Chad Grubbs
Hardin-Simmons will visit old American Southwest Conference rival Texas Lutheran on Saturday evening at Bulldog Stadium in Seguin. It will be the 18th meeting in the series between the two teams. TLU won the game last year in Abilene 37-14.
On The Air
You can hear Saturday's game on 100.7 in Abilene and on the internet at www. hsuathletics.com. You can also listen on your mobile phone using the HSU Athletics app. Al Pickett will be in his 11th season in the Cowboys' play-by-play chair and 13th overall on the broadcast team. HSU director of athletic communications Chad Grubbs will handle the color commentary duties for road games.
The Cowboys return home to face Wayland Baptist at 1 p.m. at Shelton Stadium next Saturday. HSU beat the Pioneers 37-23 last season in Plainview.
Last Time Out
The Cowboys dominated in all three phases of the game in a 77-6 win over Southwestern on Saturday in the home opener. HSU quarterbacks completed 15 of 19 passes for 346 yards and six TDs. Jessie Ramos caught seven balls for 178 yards and three scores and also returned a punt for a TD. HSU scored four times on special teams (two punt returns, a blocked punt for a TD and a blocked punt for a safety). The defense allowed just three yards per play and 230 yards in the game. TLU scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to beat Sul Ross State 44-27. The game was tied heading into the fourth quarter.
About Texas Lutheran
The Bulldogs are in the sixth season under head coach Danny Padron, who has turned TLU into one of the better Division III teams in Texas. TLU made its first NCAA playoff appearance a year ago and went 9-2. They lost to Mary Hardin-Baylor 27-20 in the playoffs. They return 15 starters and 43 lettermen from that team. Junior running back Marquis Barrolle (5-2, 150) led the nation with 1,792 rushing yards. Senior quarterback Trenton White also returns. Senior free safety Drake Dowling leads the defense.
In The Polls
Both teams come into the week receiving attention in the D3football.com poll. Texas Lutheran comes in ranked 18th and the Cowboys received 13 votes and sit just outside the top 25. The AFCA poll is not released until after the second week of the season.
An HSU Win Would
• give the Cowboys a five game non-conference winning streak.
• be the 16th in 18 meetings against TLU.
• make HSU 12-5 in non-conference games under Burleson.
• be the first win over a ranked team on the road since a win at UMHB on Oct. 23, 2004.
• be the third win over a ranked team in the Burleson era (Coe in 2011, Langston in 2014).
Saturday marks the second straight opponent for the Cowboys from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. HSU will also play SCAC foe Trinity. It could become critical in the end of the year because basically the top team out of the SCAC and ASC will get a pool B bid, which goes to a team in a conference that does not have an automatic bid. The SCAC and ASC are the only two conferences that fit that criteria this season. The ASC will not have an automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs. There is only one pool B slot and the rest will go into the pool C pool where there are seven bids.
Senior Jessie Ramos, was doing Jessie Ramos things on Saturday. He scored four times in the contest, including a 67-yard punt return, which was his first career punt return for a TD. He had touchdown receptions of 53, 39 and 13 yards. It was the third time in his career he had three receiving TDs in a game. His 178 yards receiving in the game also established a career best.
• He also went over the 2,000 yard mark in his career for receiving yards. He now is ninth all-time at HSU with 2,050 yards.
• He also now has 32 career touchdowns which ranks tied for fifth all-time at HSU.
• His 24 touchdown receptions ranks seventh and he needs two more to pass ZaVious Robbins, Mitch Ables and Brian Rogers that would tie him with Joe Lemberg for third all-time.
• He passed some of the top names in Cowboy history on the all-purpose list last week. With 259 all-purpose yards he moved past ZaVious Robbins, Kirk Rogers, Matt Carroll and Barry Donham into fifth place and he is just 318 yards away from Collin McCormick's all-time record of 4,532.
Senior running back Kerry Sloan has run for over 100 yards in five straight games and seven of the last eight. He had 15 rushes for 102 yards in the opener and scored the first TD of the year with a 29-yard scamper in the first quarter.
As much has been said about the Cowboys experience, several newcomers or newcomers to varsity had big debuts against Southwestern.
• Alex Bell had a 39-yard touchdown reception and also returned a punt 51-yards for a TD in his first carer game on varsity.
• Reese Childress had three catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including an 87-yarder.
• Luke Bishop completed two passes for 91 yards and a TD and had a 32-yard run.
• Transfer Spur Hearne led the Cowboys with nine tackles.
• Transfer Hayden Lewis had 30 yards rushing.
• Justin Woodard scored a TD in his first career varsity game.
• Freshman Jaelon Collier had a blocked punt for a safety.
• Freshman Zac Richardson had an interception.
The Cowboys name each of their special teams units after a military unit as a way of honoring the military. The Seals (punt return) had a huge day that may have never been duplicated. HSU returned two punts for touchdowns, 67-yards by Jessie Ramos and 51-yards by Alex Bell, and blocked a pair of punts. Jeremy Harris blocked one and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown and Jaelon Collier blocked the other and it just escaped out of the end zone for a safety. HSU had 198 yards on seven punt returns in the game. The unit was named to the D3football.com national team of the week.
The first 15 Southwestern possessions resulted in 11 punts, a safety, the end of the first half and a fumble. In that span, the Pirates had 135 yards on 63 plays.
Junior kicker Nico Francino got a workout in on Saturday. He hit seven of his 12 kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback, had four punts for a 40-yard average with two inside the 20 and hit 9-of-11 extra points.
Spur of the Moment
Has there ever been a more appropriately named Cowboy than linebacker Spur Hearne? The transfer from Southwestern Oklahoma had a big impact with a team-leading nine tackles, including two on special teams.
In The Backfield
The Cowboys were in the backfield all day against Southwestern and recorded 13 tackles for loss, including three sacks. Randy Hirsch had three tackles for loss and two sacks in the game and James Place added the other.
Feed The Big Men
It rarely happens that an offensive lineman catches a pass, but Josh Maronski was in the right spot at the right time when quarterback Ryan Breton was hit from behind popping the ball in the air Maronski caught it for a reception. It went for -7 yards and the Cowboys had to punt, but he can always say he caught a college pass.