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Records Fall as Pirates Celebrate Homecoming with Rout of Howard Payne

Records Fall as Pirates Celebrate Homecoming with Rout of Howard Payne

GEORGETOWN - The Southwestern University football team met the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets for the 33rd time on Saturday afternoon at Birkelbach Field, but it would be the first time the two schools met since 1950 and the first time the Pirates brought back football in 2013.

It would be a record breaking day for the Pirates, setting new marks in totaly yards (701), points (70), points in a half (49), and average gain per play (11.3) while holdiong the Yellow Jackets to 114 yards of total offense. It was also the most points scored in the series between the Pirates and Yellow Jackets as Southwestern was victorious 70-6.

For Southwestern, it was their most complete game of the season as they could do little to no wrong on the day.

It was quite the start for SU on the first play from scrimmage as sophomore Frederick Hover connected with freshman Elijah Smith out of the backfield for a 74-yard touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead. The Pirates quickly got the ball back but a missed field goal negated a nine play, 64 yard drive.

The Pirates forced another three and out and the Southwestern offense went to work again, but lined up to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 38. The coaching staff dialed up a perfect fake as senior Grayson Beck set up senior Nik Kelly on a screen pass as he went 23 yards into HPU territory. 

From there, the offense gashed the Yellow Jackets on the ground leading to a 17 yard touchdwon run from Hover to move the lead to 14-0. As the first quarter ended, the Pirates already racked up 211 yards of total offense.

The Pirates started the second quarter with th ball and on the second play of the period, Smith found daylight and scampered 38 yards to paydirt to open the lead up to 28-0. The Southwestern defense continued to force three and outs as the Pirates began to open it up in the second quarter.

As the SU offense started another possession, Smith broke open a 31 yard run to get into the redzone and set up a four yard plunge from sophomore Devin Shaw to make it 28-0.

Another three and out gave SU the ball right back and the Pirates used a little trickery this time around as freshman David Brandenburg took a jet sweep to the outside and stepped back to pass, connecting with sophomore Blair Orr for a 54 yard score and the lead was at 35-0.

A 13-yard sack by sophomore Nicholas Smith forced another three and out and Southwestern used a short field to make it 42-0 as Hover scored his second touchdown on a 15 yard score.

After exchanging possessions, the Pirate defense got in on the action as an attempted trick play by Howard Payne turned disastorous as a pass from the Yellow Jackets found the hands sophomore Josiah Minnifield, who took it to the house from 38 yards out for the 49-0 lead which Southwestern took going into the break.

Southwestern mostly used clock throughout the second half to close the game out with the win, but Southwestern was not done scoring as Shaw found paydirt for the second time in the game on a four yard run, setup by a 41 yard pass from Hover to Kelly. Junior AJ Daniels broke off a menacing 56 yard run, breaking numerous tackles, and sophomore Craig Heiser III broke one off from 44 yards out to make it 70-6 and send a lively homecoming crowd home with a dominant victory.

Hover finished 4 of 10 for 141 yards and a score and added 18 carries for 201 yards and two scores. Smith added 113 yards rushing on 13 carries while Daniles had 74 yards on five carries. Brandenburg and Beck were each 1-for-1 passing with Brandenburg throwing for a score.

Smith had one catch for 74 yards and a score while Kelly led all receivers with two catches for 64 yards and Orr had one catch for 54 yards.

In a tough day for the Yellow Jackets, Mitchell Jennings went 5 of 16 for 40 yards whiel Chase Eisenmann had four carries for 23 yards. Hunter Batten led the receivers with one catch for 34 yards.

Defensively, freshman Lawson Pyles had eight tackles while senior Joshua Scoggin had seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Sophomore Christopher Crawford had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while freshman Yusuf Sham had four tackles and two tackles for loss.

Minnifield had the lone takeaway with the INT while Kelly had two breakups. Sophomore Garrett Womack had 2.5 tackles for loss while freshman Donovan Conley had two tackles for loss and a sack.

Tevin Dawson led Howard Payne with five tackles and two tackles for loss.

Southwestern moves to 5-4 overall and 5-3 in the ASC. They will close out the season next Saturday in Seguin against a familiar foe as they take on the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs at 1 PM.