SHERMAN – For the first time during the 2013 season the Southwestern University football team was held scoreless as an early deficit proved too much to overcome in a 31-0 loss to Austin College Saturday afternoon.
The Pirates –who moved to 0-5 on the season – will continue to search for their first win of the season as they return home to host Oklahoma Baptist. Austin College improved to 1-4 on the year as the two SCAC teams met in a scheduled non-conference game as the rematch slated for Nov. 2 will count in the league standings.
First half troubles again plagued Southwestern as they fell behind early in the first quarter with the Kangaroos jumping out to an early 14-0 lead. A solid 7-play 60-yard drive from the 'Roos eclipsed 2:38 before scoring again on their second possession to build the two score lead.
Austin blocked a Pirates punt from the Southwestern goal line as Noah Jesko ran it in on the ensuing play from just 1-yard out.
The line of scrimmage was noticeably controlled by the 'Roos who rushed for over 300 yards while the Pirates only managed 39 yards on the ground.
Southwestern also struggled through the air as Austin Rainer earned his first start of the season before being forced out of the game and being relieved by Brian Hicks.
Both quarterbacks finished just 13-of-29 as neither signal caller was able to help put the ball in the end zone for the first time all season. Hicks did manage to finish with over 100 yards passing as four different receivers finished with three catches.
After a 31-yard field goal from the 'Roos Andrew Klink pushed the lead to 17-0 at the end of the first quarter the Pirate defense was able to dig its heels in and hold Austin scoreless in the second quarter.
Like much of the season the Southwestern defense continued its solid play forcing one turnover, but the rushing attack for Austin was too much to overcome. Austin was led by James Nwankpah who finished with 23 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown.
Austin added a one more touchdown in the third quarter and a final score in the fourth quarter on the longest drive of the game. Bryce Murphy found the end zone from 10-yards out as the 'Roos finished the 13-play drive covering 66 yards.
The Pirates will look to pick up their first win as they return home to open a three-game home stand. Southwestern hosts Oklahoma Baptist at Birkelbach Field with kickoff set for 1 p.m.