SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College football team had a chance for a go-ahead score late but Texas Lutheran came away with an interception with under a minute left to hold off a come-from-behind bid and hand the 'Roos a 17-13 loss on Saturday. The 'Roos are now 2-4 overall and 0-2 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Texas Lutheran got out to a fast start, scoring just over two minutes into the game with a 23 yard touchdown reception by Jekovan Holmes to cap off an eight play, 75 yard drive. The Bulldogs would drive down inside the Austin College 5-yard line later in the first quarter, but the 'Roo defense would hold TLU to a 22-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 3:51 on the clock.
Austin College struggled to get things going offensively but struck back early in the second quarter, as Cooper Woodyard took off on a quarterback draw up the middle and out-raced the TLU defenders for a 67-yard touchdown with 13:10 left before the break, making it a 10-7 game.
Texas Lutheran would answer shortly before halftime, taking advantage of good field position after a short punt, going 37 yards in 10 plays with Zach Galindo finding Holmes for his second score of the game to make it 17-7 with 4:30 on the clock. The 'Roos would get a chance to answer, but Cesar Ruiz's 41-yard field goal sailed just right and Austin College would find itself in a 10-point hole at the break.
Austin College's defense clamped down on Texas Lutheran throughout the second half, allowing the Bulldogs just 18 yards of offense in the third quarter and 58 in the fourth but the 'Roos saw two drives stall inside the TLU 10-yard line, setting for a pair of field goals. The first was a 23-yarder by Ruiz with 56 seconds left in the third to make it a 17-10 game, and Ruiz knocked home a 22-yarder with 11:18 left in the game to cut it to a 17-13 margin.
Austin College would get one more opportunity to pull out the victory late, with TLU fumbling on third down and short to give the ball back to the 'Roos with under a minute and a half left. The 'Roos picked up a quick first down on a completion from Woodyard to Kyle Mucerino, getting the ball down to the TLU 39-yard line, but Woodyard's pass down the middle was picked off by Emory Cuzze at the 20-yard line with 57 seconds on the clock to seal the win for the Bulldogs.
Woodyard finished the day completing 15-of-33 passes for 163 yards with an interception, and added 85 rushing yards on 14 attempts with a touchdown. Brandon Evans had a career day on the ground, carrying 13 times for 65 yards, while Tom Clancy caught six passes for 43 yards. TJ Melontree and James Hemen led the 'Roos defensively with nine tackles apiece, and Charles Eneh added eight stops.
Galindo ended the game with 228 passing yards on 26-of-39 attempts, while Marquis Barrolle rushed 26 times for 110 yards. JB Brown caught seven passes for 52 yards to lead TLU's receivers, and Darian Candler had 11 tackles for the Bulldogs.
Austin College will be looking to bounce back next weekend when they host Trinity with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m.