SALEM, Ore.— Hardin-Simmons' No. 9 ranked football team went across country and scratched out a 30-24 win over Willamette on Saturday afternoon at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Ore.
HSU jumped out to a quick lead for the second straight week. HSU forced a three-and-out on the first possession and struck quickly. Taylor Byrd hit Travis Tatsch on a 55-yard touchdown pass and HSU led 7-0 with 11:53 to play in the first quarter.
Scott Newberry capped the Cowboys' next drive with a 37-yard field goal and Derrick Grant capped a six-play, 48-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 with :22 to play in the first quarter.
Willamette scored on a Jamiere Abney 2-yard run with 12:19 to play in the half. HSU then had a bad snap on a punt that gave Willamette the ball at the HSU 19. The Bearcats went the 19 yards in three plays with quarterback Brian Widing keeping from two yards out with 1:04 to play in the half.
The Cowboys took the opening drive of the second half 55 yards in eight plays. Steven Rockwell capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown to make it 24-14 with 12:29 to play in the third quarter. Willamette answered with a field goal as Kyle Derby hit a 35-yarder with 4:50 to play in the third quarter.
HSU was driving to close out the game and Steven Rockwell fumbled and Willamette went 22 yards in five plays and Josh Dean scored from eight yards out to make it 30-24 with 1:48 to play.
HSU had to punt at the end but Lee Grounds had an interception to end the drive and the game.
Taylor Byrd went 8-for-16 for 182 yards and Derrick Grant had 101 yards rushing and Rockwell added 73 yards on the ground.
HSU shut down the Willamette passing attack, allowing just 25 yards on 7-of-12 passing. Willamette had 284 yards on 63 carries. Caleb Christian had 14 tackles and defensive tackles Jamal Agbor and Undra Hendrix each had 11 tackles and a sack.
Hardin-Simmons (2-0) will open American Southwest Conference play next week at Mississippi College. Willamette fell to 0-2 with the loss.
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