SEGUIN, Texas — The Southwestern University Pirates football team committed six turnovers to get shutout 27-0 against the Texas Lutheran University (TLU) Bulldogs for its first loss of the season.
After both offenses opened with a pair of short, stalled drives, it was the TLU defense that struck first when Kedrick Ward sacked quarterback Coleman Kerr, forcing and recovering a fumble with a 15-yard return for a touchdown with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter.
Ward picked up another fumble two Southwestern possessions later when David Brandenburg was hit by Sam Guzman at the Pirates' 48. Texas Lutheran got a huge third-down conversion from quarterback Wade Freeman on an eight-yard run on third and eight to extend a seven-play, 48-yard drive capped off by a Freeman 10-yard touchdown run. A blocked kick kept the TLU lead to 13-0.
The Pirates turned it over again on their next possession when Landry Gilpin's pass was intercepted at the TLU 36 by Daniel Enriquez and returned to the 50-yard line.
Southwestern's defense held serve, though, stopping Texas Lutheran in five plays and forcing a punt to exit the first half without any further damage.
The Pirate defense forced the fourth TLU punt of the day on the Bulldogs' opening drive of the second half with Nicholas Smith sacking Freeman for an eight-yard loss. Southwestern negated any momentum with a fumble at the 50-yard line recovered by TLU's Brandon Bennett.
Freeman busted the game wide open on TLU's third possession of the second half, hitting the Pirates' for a 50-yard run on third and two and capping the six-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown for a 20-0 lead after the kick with 3:12 remaining in the third.
A Southwestern three-and-out put an overworked Pirate defense back on the field. Texas Lutheran took advantage, rushing eight times fore 60 yards with Chris Monroe punching it into the end zone for a 27-0 lead.
The Pirate offense challenged early in the fourth when a 31-yard Brandenburg reception and a TLU penalty put the Pirates on the Bulldog 35 but Gilpin's pass was intercepted by Julian Nambo at the five.
Southwestern got into scoring position again on their next possession but Will Herbst's 39-yard field goal attempt was blocked and recovered by Daniel Enriquez.
The Pirates ended their final possession with a fourth fumble, force by Austin Ballard and recovered by Coy Tutt at the TLU 46 with 1:19 remaining.
Brandenburg led the Pirates in rushing on five carries for 47 yards and receiving, catching five passes for 71 yards. Southwestern netted just 158 yards on the ground and 79 via the pass for 237 yards of total offense. TLU rushed for 196 and passed for 91 for 287 yards of total offense with no turnovers.
With the loss, the Pirates fall to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Southwestern will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 5 for its homecoming game against Sul Ross State at 1:00 p.m.