ALPINE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' football team went to the rushing attack and it paid off in a 35-10 win over Sul Ross State on Saturday night in Alpine.
HSU ran the ball a school-record 61 times and had 371 yards on the ground and 500 yards of total offense and the Cowboy defense limited the Lobos to 230 total yards.
Jaquan Hemphill, the league's leading rusher, sat out with an injured ankle. It didn't matter as the Cowboys used a variety of running formations and received a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts. Xavier Jones had 124 yards on 22 carries and freshman quarterback Marc Reed had 12 carries for 122 yards.
Josh White led a spectacular effort by the defense. He had 12 tackles in the game.
HSU pushed out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. Hooper hit Matt Sandoval on a 40-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive and the defense then forced a quick three-and-out forcing a punt.
Reese Childress fielded the punt over his shoulder then weaved his way across the field and down the sideline for a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown. The return tied the school record of Collin McCormick's set in 1992 against Millsaps.
The next time the Cowboys had the ball they went 76 yards in 13 plays and killed 6:38 off the clock and Jones finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Sul Ross State's lone touchdown came on a trick play when the Lobos ran the flea-flicker. James Davis hit Byron Jones scored on a 62-yard touchdown.
Jones responded with a 6-yard touchdown run and Eli Lopez kicked a 33-yard field goal for Sul Ross State just before halftime and the Cowboys led 28-10 at the intermission.
Zai Zai Smith scored on a 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the only points for either team in the second half.
The Cowboys are 5-1 on the year and 4-1 in ASC action. Sul Ross State fell to 3-3 on the year and 2-3 in conference action. HSU will play at Texas Lutheran at 1 p.m. on Saturday in its next action.
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