ABILENE, Texas - The Southwestern University football team rushed for 352 yards and amassed 551 total yards as they rolled to a 37-6 victory over McMurry on Saturday evening at Wilford Moore Stadium.
The Pirates dominated the time of possession at 37:54 for the game while holding the War Hawk offense to 210 yards of offense including 89 on the ground.
Southwestern wasted no time as a great return by senior Markell Henderson set up shop at the SU 44 yard line. Runs by junior David Brandenburg, sophomore Kalon Heim, and junior Frederick Hover set up a three yard TD run by Hover to cap a 5 play, 56 yard drive and gave SU a 7-0 lead.
The Pirate defense went to work and forced a punt, allowing the offense to drive 56 yards in 10 plays, but a missed field goal negated the drive. After another quick series by the War Hawks, Southwestern put together a lengthy 14 play, 80 yard drive behind Craig Heiser III, but came up short of the endzone as they were stuffed on 4th and goal at the two.
McMurry tried to get something going, but sophomore Rosario Henandez, Jr. notched his third interception of the year, brining it back 12 yards to the War Hawk seven. It would set up a 23 yard field goal from junior Luke Fierst, giving the Pirates a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
After a three and out, a heavy dose of Heim down the field and some nice running by freshman quarterback Austin Emery sent the Pirates 66 yards in six plays as Heim rushed in from three yards out to give Southwestern a 17-0 lead going into the break.
Both teams traded possessions a few times to start the second half before the duo of Emery and Heim put together a nine play, 72 yard drive thanks in part to a 48 yard hookup from Emery to freshman Ta'Von Gwynn. Emery pushed across the goal line from one yard out and Southwestern took a 23-0 lead.
On the very next offensive play, freshman Jackson Reece stepped in front of a pass for the Pirates second takeaway of the game and one play later, Emery connected with Gwynn for a 28 yard score and a 30-0 advntage.
The Pirates would lose the shutout early in the fourth as McMurry would get on the board on a 40 yard touchdown pass from Kevin Hurley, Jr. to Trevion Harris. However, Southwestern put the game away on a 5 yard Henderson touchdown run to cap another 10 play drive and put the Pirates in cruise control to a 37-6 win.
Hover was 2-for-2 for 46 yards and rushed four times for 33 yards and a score. Heiser was 3-for-4 for 30 yards while Emery was 5-for-8 for 43 yards and a score while also rushing 14 times for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Heim was terrific again, rushing 24 times for 171 yards and a score as well as two catches for 46 yards. Senior Devin Shaw carried seven times for 41 yards while Brandenburg carried three times for 13 yards. Gwynn caught two balls for 71 yards and a score.
For McMurry, Hurley was 10-for-25 for 121 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. Doyle Hughes rushed 13 times for 56 yards while Eriel Dorsey hauled in four receptions for 39 yards.
Defensively, juniors Aaron Robinson and Hayden Smith each had seven tackles while sophomore Ben Brockman, senior Christopher Crawford, and senior Nicholas Smith all had six tackles. Brockman and Smith combined for half a sack while Brockman had 1.5 tackles for loss. Hernandez had four tackles, two pass breakups and the interception while juniors Cory Vega and Garrett Womack also had a half sack.
For McMurry, Josh Smith led the way with 14 tackles and three tackles for loss while Reagan Miller, Kyle Peggram, and Xavier Dunn all had seven tackles.
The Pirates have now played two full games in 2018 and have yet to committ a turnover. They move to 2-0 on the young season and 1-0 in ASC play.
It will be a marquee matchup next Satuday as the Pirates will remain on the road and head to Marshall, Texas for a showdown with East Texas Baptist, a team who finished third in the ASC last season that the Pirates would love to overtake. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM from Ornelas Stadium.