- Staff Reporter
MARSHALL, Texas – Rallying from two touchdowns down to tie the game, East Texas Baptist University couldn’t overcome a slow start as Texas Lutheran University took a 31-21 win in the American Southwest Conference opener. ETBU is now 0-2 on the year and 0-1 in the ASC.
Brian Baca went 17-of-30 for 162 yards and one touchdown run while Jeremiah Robertson rushed for a career-high 162 yards on 16 carries and scored twice. On defense, Anton Clark went off for a career-high 14 tackles (six solo, eight assisted), including three tackles for loss and two sacks. The Bulldogs were led by quarterback Wade Freeman who finished 10-of-14 for 151 yards in the air and three touchdown passes while he rushed for 71 yards on 12 carries and added a touchdown as well.
ETBU finished with more passing yards (162-151) and receiving yards (162-151) while forcing three TLU fumbles. TLU, though, would outgain ETBU on the ground averaging 5.3 yards per carry for 273 yards to ETBU’s 175 yards.
ETBU won the toss and elected to receive the kickoff but they went three-and-out to start the game. A short Tiger punt gave TLU a short-field to work with and they capitalized on seven plays for the first touchdown of the game (10:07). The next three possessions ended in punts before the Bulldogs would go deep for 43 yards to extend their lead to 14-0 after the first quarter (2:07).
Momentum would change in the second quarter as a big hit by Clark was followed by a goal line stand for ETBU’s defense stopping a hot offense from the first quarter. Robertson would break out an 85-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to seven (6:02). ETBU would then recover a fumble on the ensuing TLU kickoff as momentum swung their way. ETBU would complete a fourth down conversion before Baca walked in from one-yard out to tie the score at 14 (2:13). With 15 seconds left in the first half, the Bulldogs would retake the lead at 21-14 with another touchdown pass from Freeman with on a questionable catch by Perkins in the corner endzone.
After holding the Bulldogs to a punt, ETBU would drive to the TLU sixteen-yard line only to have a field goal blocked. The rest of the third quarter would be scoreless, but would end with the Bulldogs driving inside the ten-yard line.
They settled for a field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to go up 24-14 (14:00). TLU’s defense held ETBU three-and-out and would capitalize on good field position following an ETBU punt with another touchdown pass from seven yards out for the 31-14 lead (10:47). The Tigers would manage to get the game down to 31-21 when Roberson scored his second touchdown from 26 yards out with seven minutes to go. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs would take possession with 7:30 left in the game and never give the ball up again on a long drive that ended at the one-yard line to end the game.
ETBU will head out west to Sul Ross State next week with a 6:00 PM start in Alpine, Texas.
Article sourced from provided press release.