Southwestern takes SCAC lead with 42-38 victory over Texas Lutheran

Southwestern takes SCAC lead with 42-38 victory over Texas Lutheran

GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University football team scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters and held on to defeat Texas Lutheran, 42-38, on Saturday night at Birkelbach Field.

The Pirates (4-3, 3-0 SCAC) took the outright lead in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference standings, while also handing the Bulldogs (2-5, 2-1 SCAC) their first-ever loss in SCAC play. Texas Lutheran had won 11 consecutive conference games since joining the league prior to the 2013 season.

The Bulldogs held a 17-14 lead in the second quarter before Dylan Wilburn broke free for a 12-yard touchdown run, giving the Pirates the lead for good.

Southwestern added a three-yard score from Alyas Ramirez, his second of the game, just seconds before halftime to extend its lead to 28-17.

The third quarter started with a bang with back-to-back scores.

Darian Candler intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown, which cut SU's lead to 28-24.

However, on the ensuing kickoff, Nik Kelly went 89 yards to end zone, pushing the advantage to 35-24.

Five minutes later, Zach Galindo found  Jacob Tingle for a 14-yard score, which pulled TLU within four points (35-31) with 8:54 left in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs then attempted an onside kick, but Dante Smith was waiting and took it 39 yards to the house, extending Southwestern's lead to 42-31.

Texas Lutheran had one more scoring drive in the third quarter, as Galindo connected with Caleb Oliver from 21 yards out.

However, it was the final points of the game, as neither team was able to score in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs had two drives late in the final quarter, but one ended on a turnover on downs, while the last drive of the game came to an end on Tyler Frisby's interception as time expired.

The Pirate defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions. Southwestern was able to force a fumble in the opening quarter. Nine plays later, Ramirez scored from three yards out, to tie up the game at 7-7.

On its next drive, Southwestern pulled off a double pass, as Bryan Hicks tossed it over to Smith, who heaved it 27 yards to the end zone, where Kenneth Wynn Jr. pulled it in to give the Bucs a 14-7 advantage.

Texas Lutheran picked up a field goal to end the first quarter and added another Galindo touchdown pass with 6:00 remaining in the second quarter to grab a 17-14 lead.

Galindo ended up with 422 yards passing and four touchdowns, but he was sacked five times.

Aaron Robinson led the defensive effort with nine tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and two sacks. He also broke up a pass. Brandon Fleischmann also had nine stops, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.

Reigning SCAC Defensive Player of the Week Justin Broussard had seven tackles, four quarterback hurries and two sacks.

Frisky finished with six tackles, including, 1.5 for loss, and the interception on the final play of the game. DeeJay Johnson had the other interception for the Pirates, in addition to four tackles.

Southwestern will hit the road next Saturday, as the squad takes on Austin College in Sherman. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

• Southwestern defeated Texas Lutheran for only the second time in program history and first since Sept. 28, 1940 (27-9).
Nik Kelly's 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the longest by a Pirate since the program was reinstated in 2013.
• Southwestern is averaging 42.3 points per game in conference play.
• The Pirates recorded five sacks on Saturday. It marked the fourth game this season that SU had logged five or more quarterback sacks.
Matt Gillen caught nine passes for 146 yards. It marked the fifth consecutive game that he racked up more than 135 receiving yards.