GEORGETOWN, Texas – To upset the No. 9-ranked Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) Cowboys, Southwestern University Pirates head coach Joe Austin said his team needed to be the better team.
In his words, this meant the team that better executed, made fewer mistakes, and played better together.
After scoring 35 points on the Cowboys, the Pirates showed they could compete, moving the ball for 410 yards of total offense. After surrendering a number of big plays, Southwestern showed they still have some things to clean up to reach their potential as a team greater than the sum of its parts in a 49-35 loss.
"We needed to have fewer penalties and we needed to be assignment sound," Austin said. "We did some things well but we didn't execute the formula needed to beat a more talented, experienced team.
"I think we saw what the formula is to beating a top 10 team and after seeing how close we can be, I think this was a step forward for us and will be a part of our building process."
In a game featuring the past three American Southwestern Conference Offensive Players of the Week, (Southwestern quarterback Frederick Hover and HSU quarterback Ty Hooper split the honor two weeks ago), the Cowboys scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game, taking the opening kick and scoring on a lightning-quick four-play, 65-yard drive punctuated by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Hooper to Reese Childress with Jamie Pogue adding the extra point for a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
But the combination of HSU quarterback Ty Hooper and running back Bryson Hammonds proved to be too much, recording a touchdown pass and rush on the next two possessions.
Hooper threw for 335 yards, completing 15 of his 22 passes for an average of 16.1 yards per passing play. Hooper threw one haymaker after another, connecting with Childress four times for 118 yards and three touchdowns with a long of 64 yards.
Reigning ASC Player of the Week Bryson Hammonds sliced the Pirates' defense for 203 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns and a long of 67 yards.
Hover passed for 285 yards, completing 24 of his 39 passes for three touchdowns. He was in sync with wide receiver Landry Bray all game, finding him seven times for 111 yards and a touchdown. He also found Brandenburg five times for 76 yards with the one touchdown. Hover was also the Pirates' leading rusher with 77 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.
The Pirates finished with more first downs but committed more penalties and gave up more big plays, surrendering an average of 10.1 yards per play.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 4-4 on the season and 3-4 in conference. The Cowboys are 7-1 and 6-1 in conference. Southwestern will hit the road next weekend to play Howard Payne University on Saturday, Nov. 3.