MARSHALL, Texas - The Southwestern University football team could not overcome five turnovers as they fell to the East Texas Baptist Tigers 51-21 in ASC play on Saturday evening at Ornelas Stadium.
The Pirates racked up 331 total yards including 177 yards through the air, but struggled with ball control, fumbling six times while losing four. The high octaine ETBU offense added 485 yards of total offense including 433 through the air.
Southwestern fumbled on their first three possessions and it resulted in two scores for the Tigers. ETBU got on the board thanks to a 50 yard pass from Brian Baca to Richard Johnson and followed that up with a scoop-and-score Zack Biles, going 56 yards for a 13-0 lead.
After a botched snap sent the Pirates back to their own 6, ETBU got great field possession at the SU 48 and struck in only one place as Baca connected with Jacque Kuykendall for a 48 yard score and a 20-0 in the first quarter alone.
Southwestern finally settled in and put together a huge 16 play, 85 yard drive eating up 8:05 going into the second quarter and capped by a one yard plunge by junior Frederick Hover to make it 20-7.
The Pirates responded with an onside kick and recovered, but proceeded to go three and out. After forcing ETBU to punt, Southwestern got back into the contest thanks to a 5 play, 63 yard drive as sophomore Kalon Heim found a crease and scampered 49 yards for a score to make it a 20-14 game.
It seemed Southwestern had gained some momentum, but the Tigers took it all back before the break as a trick play saw Tarek Beaugard connect with Baca for a 23 yard touchdown and a 27-14 lead going into half.
ETBU got another long touchdown pass, a field goal, and a short touchdown run off a Pirate turnovers to move ahead 44-14 going into the fourth quarter.
Southwestern got another Hover touchdown run in the fourth, but ETBU took advantage of a poor punt and tacked on one more score to take the 51-21 home victory.
Hover finished 15 of 26 passing for 152 yards and an interception and added 23 yards on the ground on 23 attempts to go with two scores. Heim went over the century mark for the third straight game, going for 105 on 13 carries and a score. Heim also led all receivers with four catches for 59 yards.
Baca finished 20 of 31 for 391 yards and two touchdowns through the air, added a score on the ground, and also caught a 23 yard score. Richard Johnson caught six passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, freshman Joel Hiteikko led the way with 11 tackles and two pass breakups while sophomore Ben Brockman had eight tackles. Junior Hayden Smith had six tackles and a sack while freshman Jackson Reece had six tackles.
Garrett Gibson led ETBU with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble while Zack Walker had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.
Southwestern moves to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the ASC. They look to bounce back at home next weekend as they welcome ASC foe Louisiana College to Birkelbach Field. Kickoff is set for 6 PM.