ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' football team continued its early-season roll with a 59-17 win over East Texas Baptist in American Southwest Conference action on Saturday night at Shelton Stadium.
The Cowboys got it going early on when the defense came out and forced a punt on the opening possession and the Cowboys marched 59 yards in six plays as Ty Hooper hit Matthew Sandoval on a 9-yard touchdown pass.
ETBU answered back with a Brian Baca 9-yard touchdown run to tie the game. The Cowboys drove again on the second possession but had to settle on a 40-yard field goal from Jamie Pogue.
On the ETBU's next drive Dedrick Strambler intercepted a Baca pass and was heading in for a touchdown, when he fumbled and ETBU recovered at their own 2-yard line. Two plays later Blake Johnston intercepted Baca and ran it back 16 yards for a touchdown as the Cowboys took a 17-7 lead.
The defense forced a field goal attempt that was missed and then the Cowboys went 80 yards in seven plays and Zai Zai Smith finished from six yards out to give the Cowboys a 24-7 lead with 1:23 to play in the first quarter.
Bryson Hammonds and Smith added touchdown runs of 44 and 5 yards before halftime and the Cowboys led 38-7 at intermission.
On the first drive of the second half Ty Hooper hit Reese Childress on a 63-yard touchdown pass to make it 45-7. Smith added a touchdown run of eight yards and Hammonds had a 30-yard touchdown run for the Cowboys.
HSU had 570 yards of offense in the game and ETBU had 363, which was over 150 yards under their average coming into the game.
Hammonds led the Cowboys with 113 yards rushing and Smith added 103 yards. Jaquan Hemphill had 42 yards in the first two drives before coming out of the game.
Brian Baca was 16-for-29 for 176 yards and three interceptions for ETBU.
Defensively, Chris Miller led the way for the Cowboys with 13 tackles and Garrett Gibson had six tackles for ETBU.
HSU is now 4-0 on the year and 3-0 in league play and ETBU fell to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in ASC action.
HSU will travel to Mary Hardin-Baylor for a 6 p.m game next week. Both teams are undefeated and ranked in the top 10 in both national polls.
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