TLU senior Zach Galindo threw for 449 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in the final game of his college football career. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(Seguin) - Southwestern University scored 21 unanswered points over a 10-minute span midway through the second half and pulled away from the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs in a 51-33 win for the Pirates Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.
In the first-ever American Southwest Conference meeting between the two former Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference champions, Southwestern turned a 30-27 third-quarter lead into a 51-27 edge after a Frederick Hover 5-yard run, a Markell Henderson 17-yard reception from Hover, and a Donovan Conley 15-yard interception return.
The Conley INT return gave Southwestern a 51-27 lead with 7:03 to play.
Southwestern, the 2016 SCAC champion, finished its first year in the ASC with an overall mark of 6-4 and a conference record of 6-3.
TLU, the 2013, 2014 and 2015 SCAC champion, also claimed a 6-4 overall record and a 6-3 conference mark.
In Head Coach Carl Gustafson's first season at the helm of the Bulldog football program, TLU rebounded from a 2016 season that produced a 2-8 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the SCAC.
TLU, Southwestern and East Texas Baptist finished in a three-way tie for third in the ASC (behind champion and No. 1-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor and top-five ranked Hardin-Simmons). The third-place finish ties TLU's program-best ASC finish, first collected back in 2004 by the Bulldogs.
In the Southwestern victory, the Pirates scored a pair of defensive touchdowns against the Bulldogs. In addition to the third quarter INT return by Conley, Southwestern had a 68-yard fumble recovery for a TD by Yusuf Sham. TLU had taken a 20-14 lead and had recovered a second fumbled kickoff deep in Southwestern territory when the Pirate defense made the big defensive play.
The Bulldogs were at the Southwestern 22, looking at a 2nd-and-3, when Garrett Womack sacked Zach Galindo from the blind side and forced the fumble. Sham picked up the ball near the TLU sideline and scampered 68 yards untouched for the score.
TLU turned the ball over five times against Southwestern. The Bulldogs had two lost fumbles and three interceptions.
Galindo (San Antonio/O'Connor) came off the TLU bench in the first half and proceeded to attack the Southwestern defense through the air. (TLU had 14 carries for -1 yards in the first half). With Southwestern determined to take away the Bulldog running game, Galindo threw for 449 yards and three scores. He completed 39 of 59 passes.
Galindo's former high school teammate Jekovan Holmes (San Antonio/O'Connor) had seven catches for 110 yards and two scores, and junior receiver Reggie Jackson (Killeen Ellison) had a career-best 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson's touchdown put TLU on the board in the second quarter. He caught a pass from Galindo near the 5-yard line and hurdle a Southwestern defender at the three. Jackson landed in the endzone to cap a three-place, 66-yard drive.
Southwestern QB Frederick Hover was a handful for TLU all afternoon. The junior carried the ball 30 times for 121 yards and scored two rushing TDs, and he threw for 302 yards on just 10 completions. He had three passing touchdowns.
The Pirates put up 501 offensive yards on 57 plays. The team averaged 8.8 yards per play, 30.2 yards per completion, 18.9 yards per attempt, and 4.9 yards per rush.
TLU collected 586 yards of total offense. TLU threw the ball 71 times (completing 45) and had 528 yards of passing.
TLU ran 98 total plays to Southwestern's 57.
The Pirates won for a third straight time against TLU. Southwestern won both meetings against TLU in 2016 in the final year of SCAC football. (TLU and Southwestern still play all other sports but football in the SCAC).
Redshirt freshman safety James Bell (Houston/Lamar) led TLU with nine total tackles. Adairius Norwood (Waco/Waco), Dakwa Davis (Magnolia/Cypress Creek), Nwankwo Nwankwo (Richmond/Foster), and Emory Cuzze (Buda/Hays) each had seven tackles for TLU.
Nwankwo registered a pair of tackles for loss, and Keyshawn Holman (Orange/West Orange-Stark) had 1.5 tackles for loss and a pair of fumble recoveries on kickoffs.
Ben Brockman led Southwestern with 14 total tackles. He had a sack of five yards. Christopher Crawford added 10 tackles. Pirate interceptions went to DeeJay Johnson, Josiah Minnifield and Conley.