Austin College gets first victory of the season in defensive battle

Herald Democrat

Austin College picked up its first victory of the season as the 'Roos took down Sul Ross State, 16-7, in American Southwest Conference action at Jerry Apple Stadium.

The 'Roos (1-1, 1-1) more than doubled up Sul Ross in total offense, gaining 341 yards to 157 for the Lobos (0-2, 0-2) and held the ball for 35 minutes in the win.

Austin College used a balanced attack with six different players getting at least three carries while seven receivers hauled in passes. Xavier Maxwell paced the 'Roos with five receptions for 72 yards and Makkedah Brown had 13 carries for 54 yards. Tyler James connected on 16-of-30 pass attempts for 174 yards and hooked up with Aaron Rideaux for the team's lone touchdown.

Austin College came out strong defensively, stuffing Sul Ross' opening possession. Nolan Frith got a hand on the punt to give the 'Roos great field position, and six plays later John Aldridge made a 31-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead just under five minutes into the game.

The 'Roos put together another good effort on the next Sul Ross possession as Brady Dygert earned a sack on third down to force another punt.

Austin College followed a nine-play, 79-yard drive culminating with a 26-yard touchdown strike from James to Rideaux, who finished with four catches for 47 yards, at the 4:19 mark of the opening frame.

The score remained 10-0 until late in the second quarter when the Lobos got on the board with a three-yard touchdown run from Matthew DeLeon, who had 71 yards on 16 carries, with 1:34 on the clock. It capped off a seven-play, 43-yard drive that was set up by a fumble by James.

Penalties began to pile up on both sides in the second half but Aldridge made another field goal, this time from 19 yards out late in the third for a 13-7 margin heading to the fourth quarter.

The 'Roos put together a 10-play, 46-yard drive on their next possession and got another field goal from Aldridge, this time from 22 yards, to make it 16-7 with 7:49 left to play.

Sul Ross couldn't get any closer as it gained a total of just three yards across their final two possessions. The Lobos finished with just 58 yards passing as TJ Deshields completed 7-of-14 attempts.

Mekhi Nicholson had six tackles and Dygert finished with five, including 1.5 sacks, for Austin College, which travels to Belhaven on Saturday night.