|Posted on 9/14/2018 5:02:00 AM.|
Sophomore quarterback Jarvis Brooks makes his first collegiate start at Belhaven Saturday after leading three touchdown drives in TLU's season opening win over Hendrix. Photo by Dustin Wyatt.
(Jackson, Miss.) - Texas Lutheran opens its American Southwest Conference football schedule Saturday with a visit to Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss.
The Bulldogs slogged out a 19-14 win over Hendrix College to start Carl Gustafson's second season as head coach on a rain-soaked Seguin evening last Saturday. In addition to poor weather conditions, TLU overcame four turnovers and an injury to senior All-ASC quarterback Kyle Grona on the first series to come out on top.
Blaine McCorkle's first game as Belhaven's head coach produced mixed results, with the Blazers playing well defensively and struggling on offense in an 18-3 home loss to Millsaps on Aug. 30. McCorkle replace storied coaching veteran Hal Mumme, who stepped down last November after totaling just eight wins in four seasons.
The TLU offense leaned on its running game and a late surge by sophomore quarterback Jarvis Brooks to produce just enough points in the win over Hendrix. Ian Leslie and Chris Monroe each ran for 100 yards and a touchdown. Brooks, pressed into game action much earlier than anticipated, went 12-21 through the air for 138 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He completed four straight passing attempts and accounted for the final 64 yards on TLU's go-ahead scoring drive, capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Brooks to Charles Robinson.
Robinson, a junior who moved his way up the depth chart in 2017 and nailed down a starting role in the off-season, enjoyed a career night with 89 receiving yards on five catches.
Sophomore safety James Bell sparked TLU's defensive effort with an interception, a fumble recovery, and eight tackles to earn ASC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Linebacker Dakwa Davis collected a team-high nine tackles. Defensive linemen Manny Longoria, Nwankwo Nwankwo, and Jackson Worley each recorded a sack, with Longoria totaling 3.5 tackles for loss and Worley adding three more.
TLU faces a Belhaven offense with a capable quarterback in junior Hunter McEachern, the UTEP transfer who threw for an ASC-high 2,769 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2017. McEachern only completed 11-of-26 attempts for 64 yards and an interception in the loss to Millsaps, and the Blazers' offensive line gave up four sacks.
Belhaven only managed 42 rushing yards on 25 carries in the opener - an average of 1.7 per attempt. Ryan Lindsey's 34-yard field goal proved to be all the scoring the Blazers could muster.
The Belhaven defense did its best to keep the Millsaps game competitive, yielding just 291 total yards and 4.4 per play, forcing eight punts, and holding the Majors to just 1-14 on third down. Junior David Lews paced the Blazers on that side of the ball with 11 tackles (two for loss) and a sack.
Saturday's kickoff at Belhaven Bowl Stadium in Jackson is slated for 7 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with streaming video at tlubulldogs.com. Pre-game starts at 6:30.