RICHARDSON, Texas – Five American Southwest Conference football teams will be in action on Saturday for the second week of the season.
ASC squads went 3-3 during the opening week, with Belhaven University, Sul Ross State University and Louisiana College picking up big wins.
Top-ranked University Mary Hardin-Baylor, the defending national champions, will take to the field for the first time this season when they host Sul Ross in ASC play at 6:00 p.m.
Tenth-ranked Hardin-Simmons University will host Texas College at 1:00 p.m. and Texas Lutheran University will travel to Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. for a 6:00 p.m. kickoff.
East Texas Baptist University will also be in action Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas at 7:00 p.m. McMurry University will face Southwestern University in conference action as well, slated for a 7:00 p.m. start.
WEEK 1 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – James Davis, QB, Sr., Sul Ross State
Senior quarterback James Davis (Houston, Texas / South HS) threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-28 passing to lead the Lobo offense against the Falcons. He also scored on a four-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter to help seal the Lobos’ 47-22 win.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Sarkeithian Thomas, LB, Jr., Sul Ross State
Junior linebacker Sarkeithian Thomas (Beaumont, Texas / Ozen HS) posted a team-high nine tackles (3 solo/6 assists) and a fumble recovery that was returned 38 yards for a touchdown in SRSU’s 47-22 victory over UT Permian Basin. He also notched an interception return for two yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Jacob Walters, K, Fr., Howard Payne
Howard Payne freshman kicker Jacob Walters (Willis, Texas / Willis HS) was 2-for-2 on field goals with a distance of 30 and 35 yards in Saturday’s 63-34 loss at Southwestern Assemblies of God. He also was 4-for-4 on extra point attempts and recorded seven kickoffs for 391 yards and two touchbacks.
ASC IN THE POLLS
Mary Hardin-Baylor (0-0) remained at #1 in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. Hardin-Simmons (0-0) moved up two spots to #12 despite not playing. Sul Ross State received two votes in the poll after their 47-22 victory at NCAA Division II member UT Permian Basin.
ASC EXPANDS TO 10 TEAMS
Southwestern and Texas Lutheran begin their first year with the ASC as football affiliate members after competing in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The additions signal a return to a 10-team football alignment for the first time since 2005 and make the ASC the 10th NCAA Division III conference with at least ten football teams.
MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR PRESEASON FAVORITE TO WIN ASC
Mary Hardin-Baylor has been picked to win the 2017 American Southwest Conference football title after a vote of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and media members, the ASC office announced August 18. Cru junior quarterback/wide receiver T.J. Josey was selected as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. UMHB senior defensive tackle Haston Adams was the Defensive Player of the Year, and Hardin-Simmons senior return specialist Alex Bell was the Special Teams selection.
ASC PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Four student-athletes from two ASC member institutions were named D3football.com Preseason All-Americans. Selected to the First Team at defensive tackle was Mary Hardin-Baylor’s, Haston Adams. Hardin-Simmons tallied three selections – return specialist Alex Bell on the First Team, junior wide receiver Reese Childress on the Second Team and sophomore offensive tackle Jonathan Castaneda on the Second Team.
MCMURRY’S WRIGHT ON FRED MITCHELL WATCH LIST
Named to the 2017 Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award Kick Off Watch List was sophomore kicker Tanner Wright from McMurry. He is one of 36 kickers on the list from NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA schools. Wright was a Second Team All-Conference and All-NCCAA First Team selection as a freshman as he went 8-for-10 on field goals and averaged 58.3 yards per kick on kickoffs.
WEEK 1 RECAPS
Aug. 31 – Oklahoma Panhandle State 10, McMurry 0 (Goodwell, Okla.)
The War Hawks opener was the earliest regular season game ever played in the 92-year history of the program. The 10-0 loss to Oklahoma Panhandle State University was the first time that McM had been shutout since the season-opener of the 2012 season (when it was blanked 51-0 by the NCAA II #9-ranked Abilene Christian University). Jordan Washington’s second quarter interception was the seventh of his McM career. In all, the War Hawks defense turned in three pilfered passes in its season-opening loss. Michael Green Jr. had a game-high 12 tackles versus OPSU, while teammate Josh Smith added ten tackles and an interception.
Aug. 31 – Belhaven 42, Millsaps 37 (Jackson, Miss.)
The Riverside Rumble, in thrilling fashion against cross-town rival Millsaps College, was won by the Blazers. Even with the playing conditions being wet and rainy, the Blazers were able to pass for more than 380 yards through the air. Quarterback Hunter McEachern finished the contest with 263 passing yards, while three Blazer receivers each had over 80 receiving yards. Kyky Austin led the way with six catches for 93 yards. On the defensive side, Denarrius Noel dominated the line of scrimmage all evening with a team high 14 total tackles.
Sept. 1 – Sul Ross State 47, UT Permian Basin 22 (Odessa, Texas)
Sul Ross bent, then broke U.T. Permian Basin in a season-opening 47-22 victory over the Falcons Saturday night at Ratliff Stadium. The Lobos held a slim edge in total offense, 427-414 but intercepted four passes, forced three fumbles, recovering one, and converted safety. Sul Ross enjoyed nearly a 13-minute advantage in time of possession. The Lobos lost just one fumble and converted on all five of their red zone chances. Individually, James Davis completed 16 of 28 passes for 316 yards and three scores. Byron Jones caught five passes for 135 yards and two scores. Defensively, Sarkeithian Thomas recorded nine tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Derrick Winters added two picks for 57 yards. Thomas posted nine tackles while Jacques Wisner had eight stops, four solos.
Sept. 1 – Denison 49, Southwestern 31 (Granville, Ohio)
Southwestern opened the game with a 14-0 lead, but couldn’t maintain the lead as Denison came from behind for the 49-31 win. The Pirates racked up 468 yards of total offense – 238 passing and 230 rushing. Quarterback Frederick Hover was 13-of-26 passing for 225 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jaxon Borowski had five catches for 100 yards. Hayden Smith led the defense with eight tackles.
Sept. 1 – Louisiana College 59, Wayland Baptist 20 (Pineville, La.)
Louisiana College had a convincing 59-20 win over Wayland Baptist to open the 2017 season and in turn give new head coach Justin Charles his first win as head coach. The LC passing attack of D’Ondre Joseph and freshman Wayne Griffin combined for 286 yards and six touchdowns, half of them going to newcomer Leondre James. The Wildcat defense held Wayland to just 35 rushing yards on the night, forced six turnovers and scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries.
Sept. 1 – Southwestern Assemblies of God 63, Howard Payne 34 (Waxahachie, Texas)
Howard Payne suffered a 63-34 season opening loss to Southwestern Assemblies of God in Waxahachie, Texas to open the season. With SAGU opening up a 35-0 advantage in the first half, the Jackets would score 20 unanswered points to pull within 15, 35-20 at the half. SAGU posted three touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Jackets 14-point fourth was not enough falling 63-34 in the end. Quarterback Caisson Montieth was 11-of-19 passing for 75 yards and a touchdown, Montieth would also have 13 rushes for 77 and a TD. Eric Haverstock recorded six catches for 46 yards. Tevin Dawson and Austin Killgore each recorded seven tackles for the Jackets. Kicker Jacob Walters was a 2 of 2 from 30 and 35 yards out. Walters also was perfect on extra point attempts (4 of 4) and had seven kickoffs for 391 yards and two touchbacks.
Sept. 9 Texas College (0-1) at #10 Hardin-Simmons (0-0) Abilene, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Location: Shelton Stadium
Media: Live stats/radio
Series Record: Hardin-Simmons leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 21, 2013 – Hardin-Simmons 66, Texas College 34
Coaches Records: HSU – Jesse Burleson – 40-21 (23-14 ASC) (7th season)
Texas College – Charles Moss – 0-1 (1st season)
Sept. 9 Texas Lutheran (0-0) at Hendrix College (1-0) Conway, Ark. 6:00 p.m.
Location: Warrior Field
Media: Live stats/video
Series Record: First Meeting
Coaches Records: Texas Lutheran – Lance Hinson – 0-0 (1st season)
Hendrix – Buck Buchanan – 25-17 (5th season)
Sept. 9 Sul Ross State (1-0) at #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (0-0)* Belton, Texas 6:00 p.m.
Location: Crusader Stadium
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Mary Hardin-Baylor leads 15-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 29, 2016 – Mary Hardin-Baylor 59, Sul Ross State 10
Coaches Records: Sul Ross State – John Pearce – 12-19 (6-10 ASC) (4th season)
UMHB – Pete Fredenburg – 196-38 (127-16 ASC) (20th season)
Sept. 9 East Texas Baptist (0-0) at SW Assemblies of God (1-0) Waxahachie, Texas 7:00 p.m.
Location: Lumpkins Stadium
Series Record: East Texas Baptist leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 10, 2016 – East Texas Baptist 85, SW Assemblies of God 23
Coaches Records: East Texas Baptist – Scott Highsmith – 0-0 (1st season)
SW Assemblies of God – Frank Tristan – 12-9 (3rd season)
Sept. 9 McMurry (0-1) at Southwestern (0-1) Georgetown, Texas 7:00 p.m.
Location: Birkelbach Field
Media: Live stats/video/radio
Series Record: Tied 8-8-4
Last Meeting: Sept. 10, 2016 – Southwestern 24, McMurry 17
Coaches Records: McMurry – Lance Hinson – 10-20 (4-11 ASC) (4th season) at MCM
47-73 overall (13th season)
Southwestern – Joe Austin – 10-30 (5th season) at SU
27-52 overall (9th season)
WEEK 3 SCHEDULE
Sept. 16 Louisiana College at #10 Hardin-Simmons* Abilene, Texas 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 16 #1 Mary Hardin-Baylor at #7 Linfield McMinnville, Ore. 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 Howard Payne at McMurry* Abilene, Texas 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 16 Belhaven at Texas Lutheran* Seguin, Texas 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 16 East Texas Baptist at Southwestern* Georgetown, Texas 6:00 p.m.