September 10, 2011

ETBU roars past Austin College, 54-17

More news about: East Texas Baptist

MARSHALL, Texas (9/10/11) – East Texas Baptist dominated all three phases of the game Saturday night as the Tigers romped to a 54-17 win over Austin College in the home opener in Ornelas Stadium.

ETBU (1-1) set a record for the most points ever scored by a Tiger team in Ornelas Stadium as they totally wiped out the Kangaroos (0-2) in the first meeting between the two former American Southwest Conference rivals since 2005.

The Tigers, coming off a disappointing 34-10 loss at third-ranked Wesley last weekend, started fast and never let their foot off the gas Saturday against Austin College. ETBU raced out to a 21-3 lead after one quarter and was up 30-3 by halftime. The Tigers then put up 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before the Kangaroos, members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference since leaving the ASC following the 2005 season, scored two late touchdowns.

Junior Kwame Spikes set the tone from the opening kickoff, returning it 79 yards to the Austin College 11. Senior quarterback Sed Harris scampered around left end on the first play from scrimmage, and ETBU was up 7-0 just 21 seconds into the contest.

Following a quick three-and-out by the Tiger defense, senior Tony Cavness returned the ensuing punt 25 yards to set up a seven-play, 34-yard drive culminated by Jair Stover's two-yard plunge into the end zone with 9:36 to go in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Stover went on to score three touchdowns, all in the first half, to tie a career high previously set when he also rushed for three scores back on Oct. 20, 2007, at Louisiana College. His second tally of the night came with 1:41 to go in the first quarter, giving ETBU a 21-3 lead on a strong burst up the middle in which he broke at least two tackles and pulled away for a 52-yard scoring run.

The lead ballooned to 23-3 with 1:55 to go in the second quarter, as Austin College snapped the ball out of the end zone on a punt attempt. On the ensuing kick, Spikes popped off another long return of 71 yards to set the Tigers up with a first down at the Kangaroo 11.

Stover scored two plays later from the 11, and the Tigers would have a 30-3 lead to take into halftime. ETBU picked up where it left off quickly in the third quarter, taking its first possession 66 yards in just four plays with Hubbard capping the drive with a 20-yard dart to Jacob Stone for a 37-3 lead.

The defense then got into the act, as junior Mark Gray scooped up a fumble and raced 18 yards for a touchdown that made it 44-3 in favor of the Tigers. The 'Roos fumbled the ensuing kickoff at the Austin College 27, and Hubbard then connected with Elias Kawesa on an 11-yard swing pass for another touchdown and a 51-3 lead.

Brett Peddicord's 24-yard field goal with 14:12 to go capped the Tiger scoring, which saw ETBU score 40 straight points before Austin College scored its first touchdown of the night. The Kangaroos would then score the final points of the night with just four seconds left on a 44-yard touchdown pass.

The Tigers ended the night with a 454-302 advantage in total yardage, and ETBU's special teams added another 250 yards on kick and punt returns. ETBU also displayed great balance offensively, with 203 yards on the ground and 251 yards through the air.

Stover ended the night with 112 yards on 13 carries, with the three touchdowns. Harris, who left the game late in the first half and did not return, added 29 yards rushing and a touchdown, and was 6 of 14 for 53 yards passing. Hubbard finished 10 of 14 for 198 yards and two scores while playing only about 1 ½ quarters.

Spikes led the Tigers with four catches for 41 yards, with Lewis posting a game-high 74 receiving yards on just three catches. In all, seven different Tigers caught passes on the night.

Defensively, ETBU was led by junior linebacker Randy Rasmussen, who had 14 tackles in his first career start. Junior linebacker Jordan Hayes added 10 tackles, and Gray had eight stops with a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception.

The Tigers will open ASC play next Saturday in Ornelas Stadium, hosting Texas Lutheran at 6 p.m.

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