SEGUIN, TX-For the first half of their 2014 season opener, Sul Ross State University's football team gave 36th rated Texas Lutheran all they could handle in the 2014 season opener for both teams at Bulldog Stadium Saturday evening.
But TLU, which trailed the Lobos, 15-14 with 1:34 left in the first half, pulled away in the second half and went on to defeat Sul Ross State, 61-15, in the first game ever at Texas Lutheran's on-campus Bulldog Stadium.
Texas Lutheran drove 46 yards to score on their first possession, with Marquis Barrolle scoring from two yards out. But the Lobos cut the margin to 7-2 when TLU snapped the ball out of their own end zone on a punt late in the first quarter.
Sul Ross State took the lead for the first time in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Derrick Bernard connected with senior wide receiver Xavier Jefferson (Austin, TX/McCallum HS) on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The extra point by freshman kicker Adomaitis Valenzuela (El Paso, TX/Horizon HS) put the Lobos ahead, 9-7, with 4:32 left in the first half.
Bulldog quarterback Trenton White hit Dustin Hannon from 16 yards out with 2:28 left in the second quarter to put TLU back on top, 14-9.
SRSU sophomore defensive back Uriah Mosley (Irving, TX/MacArthur HS) returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to the Bulldog one-yard line, and Bernard connected with senior wide receiver Cordrick Mobley (Cameron, TX/C.H. Yoe HS) from five yards out to make it 15-14 with 1:34 left after the PAT was blocked. TLU then drove down the field, and Tyler Brandenburg's 35 yard field goal as time expired in the first half put the Bulldogs back on top for good at 17-15.
TLU took advantage of two lost fumbles and an interception in the third quarter to take a 41-15 lead. The Lobos lost a fumble at their own 21-yard line on the first play of the third quarter, held the Bulldogs to a field goal after a muffed punt at their own seven-yard line, and gave up a touchdown after the interception. The Bulldogs then added three more scores before the game ended.
"In the first half, we showed signs of being a good football team, but we shot ourselves in the foot in the second half," said Sul Ross State Head Coach John Pearce. "The heat might have been a little bit of a factor. I was proud of the way we played in the first half. We had some bad stuff happen early in the second half, but we played a lot of young guys and they played hard the whole game. We'll get back and take a look at the film, and work on improving for next week."
Sophomore running back Chase Burns (Houston, TX/Channelview HS) led the Lobos on the ground, gaining 55 yards on 25 carries. Bernard completed 9 of 21 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, while Mobley caught three passes for 72 yards and freshman wide receiver Roderick Owens (San Antonio, TX/Roosevelt HS) caught two for 22.
Barrolle led the Bulldogs with 91 yards on 17 carries, White completed 27 of 45 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns, and Williams caught six passes for 86 yards.
Sophomore defensive back Terrelle Owens (Austin, TX/Del Valle HS) led the Lobos on defense with 11 tackles, seven of them unassisted, while senior linebacker Earl Hines (Port Arthur, TX/Port Arthur Memorial HS/Blinn College) added 10 stops, including seven solos. Drake Dowling led the Bulldogs with 12 stops, six unassisted, while Darian Candler had 10 tackles, including five unassisted stops.
The Bulldogs improved to 1-0 with the victory, while the Lobos fell to 0-1 with the defeat. Sul Ross State will return to action when they visit Southwestern next Saturday. Texas Lutheran will visit Hardin-Simmons.
SUL ROSS STATE FOOTBALL