Game 4 - At East Texas Baptist
7 p.m. CT | Sept. 30, 2017 | Ornelas Stadium
Radio: 100.7 FM
Al Pickett - Play-by-Play; Chad Grubbs - Color
3-0, 2-0 ASC
Coach: Jesse Burleson (HSU, 1999)
Career Record: 43-21, (7)
Vs. East Texas Baptist, 4-2
East Texas Baptist
3-0, 2-0 ASC
Coach: Scott Highsmith (Howard Payne)
Career Record: 3-0 (1)
Vs. HSU, first meeting
An HSU Win Would
► Mark the third straight year the Cowboys have started 4-0.
► Make the Cowboys 16-2 all-time against ETBU.
► Make the Cowboys 6-1 in their last six road games.
► Push the Cowboys record to 21-2 in the last three regular seasons.
Last Time Out
The Cowboys rolled over Howard Payne 63-3 in Brownwood to improve to 3-0 on the season. HSU had 654 yards of total offense and held the Yellow Jackets to 168. It was the first career start under center for Ty Hooper and he went 14-of-17 for 208 yards and two touchdowns. East Texas Baptist is coming off a 79-40 win over Belhaven on Saturday in Marshall. Both teams had over 600 yards of total offense in the contest.
HSU will host top-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor at 1 p.m. at Shelton Stadium. The winner of that game has won at least a share of every American Southwest Conference title since 1998, when the Cru started football. East Texas Baptist will travel to Howard Payne next week.
In The Polls
HSU has moved up in the national polls each week and is currently No. 6 in the D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association polls. East Texas Baptist received 10 votes in the AFCA poll this week.
On the Air
You can listen to Cowboy football on 100.7 in Abilene and on the internet at www. hsuathletics.com. You can also listen on your mobile phone using the HSU Athletics app. Al Pickett is in his 12th season in the Cowboys' play-by-play chair and 14th overall on the broadcast team. Former Cowboy quarterback Travis Jones will handle the color commentary duties for home games and director of athletic communications Chad Grubbs will handle the color analysis for the road games.
Hawkins Earns Big Honor
Senior Matthew Hawkins was named one of the semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy given to the top senior student-athlete in college football. The award covers all divisions and he was one of 181 players to make the initial list. There were just 33 Division III players named semifinalists. Hawkins has a 3.77 GPA as an economics/finance major. He is a two-year captain for the Cowboys and is a four-year starter and is making his 34th career start on Saturday. He is also just four tackles away from joining the HSU career top 10 in tackles.
The Cowboys lead the nation in scoring offense at 64 points per game and HSU is third in scoring defense allowing 4.3 points per outing. The Cowboys also top Division III with 643.7 yards per game and rank sixth defensively, allowing just 201 yards per contest.
The Cowboys have lived off the big play in the early going of the season. HSU has 14 touchdowns of 20 or more yards and has 28 plays of 20 or more yards. The Cowboys have five rushes over 40 yards and seven passes of 40 or more yards.
Reese Childress continues to find ways to get into the end zone. He scored a pair of touchdowns last week against Howard Payne and has five TD receptions on the year. He is also nearing the 2,000-yard mark for his career and will hit that milestone with 95 more yards. He has also moved to a tie for fourth all-time with 10 100-yard receiving games.
Career 100-yard Reception Games
20 Kirk Rogers
12 Collin McCormick
11 Jessie Ramos
10 Mychal Carrillo
10 ZaVious Robbins
Junior quarterback Ty Hooper was solid in his starting debut under center for the Cowboys. He completed 14-of-17 passes for 208 yards and two scores. Howard Payne brought an all-out blitzing scheme to try to confuse Hooper and he made them pay on several plays.
Freshman kicker Luis Diaz is off to a solid start to his career. He hit a 33-yard field goal last week and is 2-for-3 on the year. He has also hit 18-of-21 extra points. He also has nine touchbacks on kickoffs.
Senior Matthew Hawkins is just five tackles away from joining the career top 10. He has 226 tackles in his career and will pass Ryan Jacobs and Ryne Lewis to move to ninth.
Spreading the Wealth
The Cowboys have had 10 different players catch a pass so far this season and six different players have caught a touchdown. Reese Childress has scored five touchdowns on his 13 catches this season and is averaging 20.1 yards per catch. Alex Bell leads the team with 16 catches and Jaquan Hemphill had 10.
Pound The Rock
HSU has been known for its passing game for years, but the Cowboys' ability to run the ball has led to a balanced attack. The Cowboys are rushing for 312.3 yards per contest and 7.6 yards per carry. Jaquan Hemphill leads the conference at 122.3 yards per game and he is averaging 11.1 yards per carry which leads the nation among backs with 10 or more carries per game. Xavier Jones is averaging 12.9 yards per carry and Kavan Johnson has three touchdowns on the year. Quarterback Marc Reed has run for 135 yards and two scores.
The offensive line has touted themselves as Burleson's Boys after offensive line coach and head coach Jesse Burleson. The line is one of the biggest in Cowboys' history and has a ton of experience. They have paved the way for the big numbers in the running and passing game.
No Points For You
The Cowboy defense ranks third in the nation allowing just 4.3 points per game. HSU went seven quarters to start the season before allowing a point, which was the longest consecutive scoreless streak for the Cowboys since the 1995 season.
HSU's defensive line doesn't have one major standout statistically, but the collective group has done a great job of shutting down the opponents' running game and also have made their way to the quarterback. The defense is averaging 8.3 tackles for loss and three sacks per game.
Get Them Off The Field
HSU's defense has thrived on getting the opponents off the field in the early going of the season. Opponents have converted just 13-of-56 (23 percent) third downs in the first three games and Howard Payne was just 1-of-15.
60-Point Games Under Whitehead
The Cowboys have scored over 60 points twice this season and 13 times under offensive coordinator Jeff Whitehead. The Cowboys lead the nation at 64 points per game.
2012 Sul Ross State W, 86-42
2015 Louisiana College W, 82-21
2015 Southwestern W, 77-6
2017 Texas College W, 74-0
2013 Texas Lutheran W, 73-44
2011 Texas Lutheran W, 67-17
2013 Texas College W, 66-34
2016 East Texas Baptist W, 66-30
2012 Texas Lutheran W, 65-58
2011 Sul Ross State W, 64-39
2017 Howard Payne W, 63-3
2015 Howard Payne W, 63-7
2016 SW Assemblies W, 61-24
600-Yard Games Under Whitehead
HSU has produced over 600 yards in two games this season and had 598 in the other. HSU has had 10 600-yard outputs under Whitehead and lead the nation at 643.7 yards per contest.
2012 Sul Ross State 914
2012 Texas Lutheran 728
2016 Southwest Assemblies 714
2017 Louisiana College 681
2015 Louisiana College 680
2011 Texas Lutheran 680
2016 Belhaven 655
2017 Howard Payne 654
2011 Sul Ross State 613
2015 Wayland Baptist 600
► The Cowboys have scored 25 or more points in 25 of the last 29 games. The only time they didn't score over 25 was 21 in the Mud Bowl loss to ETBU two years ago, twice to Mary Hardin-Baylor and the other was against Linfield in the playoffs last season.
► Alex Bell has a catch in all 25 career games in which he has played.
► HSU has outscored its opponents 39-0 in the first quarter and 104-3 in the first half and 153-3 in the first three quarters and 192-13 overall.
► The Cowboy offense has rushed for over 100 yards in 15 of the last 16 games and has been over 200 yards seven times during that run.
► The defense had eight pass break ups against Howard Payne.
Hardin-Simmons vs. East Texas Baptist
HSU and ETBU will meet for the 17th time and it will be a showdown of the top two offenses in the conference. HSU averages 64 points per game and ETBU is second with 55.3 per contest. The Cowboys also have the top scoring defense in the league at 4.3 points per game. ETBU is allowing 22.3 points per contest. ETBU leads the conference with 14 sacks on the year and the Cowboys are third with nine. The teams are 1-2 in the conference in third-down conversions. HSU is 18-for-32 for 56.2 percent and ETBU is 21-of-42 for 50 percent. ETBU has forced 10 turnovers and are +5 on the year to lead the league. The Cowboys are -1 on the year and are eighth in the conference. Ty Parsons and Caleb Taylor are 1-2 in the conference in tackles. Parsons is averaging 15.3 per game. Josh White ranks fourth at nine per contest.
Inside The Series
Series HSU leads, 15-2
In Abilene HSU leads, 9-0
In Marshall HSU leads, 6-2
Neutral Site None
Burleson vs. ETBU 4-2
Current Streak HSU, 1
Longest HSU Streak 11
Longest ETBU Streak 1
Largest HSU Win, Year 59, 2001
Largest ETBU Win, Year 6, 2015
Last Meeting HSU won 66-30 in Abilene