HSU defense rolling into first true test Saturday at ETBU


ABILENE, Texas - Saturday marks the first true test for the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys as HSU football is back on the road this week facing also unbeaten East Texas Baptist.

If you've been following along, the Cowboys have absolutely dominated the stat sheets so far. HSU is leading the nation in scoring with 64 points a game, and they have 14 touchdowns of 20 or more yards so far in 2017.

Defensively, it's been like clockwork - the Cowboys ranking third in scoring defense after allowing just over 4 points a game in the first three weeks.

"We have a few new schemes and stuff, but you know a lot of the glory goes to our defensive coordinator," said senior captain Matthew Hawkins. "He puts us in the best position that all we have to do is go out there and execute what he tells us to do."

Offensively, Reese Childress continues to find ways to get into the end zone. He scored a pair of touchdowns last week against Howard Payne and has five TD receptions on the year. He is also nearing the 2,000-yard mark for his career and will hit that milestone with 95 more yards. He has also moved to a tied for fourth all-time with 10 100-yard receiving games.

Also worth noting, senior Matthew Hawkins is just five tackles away from joining the career top 10. He has 226 tackles in his career and will pass Ryan Jacobs and Ryne Lewis to move to ninth.

ETBU however, has its own agenda after showcasing it too has quite an offense after putting up 79 points last week over Belhaven in a shootout.

So for the Cowboys to get its fourth-straight 4-0 start this Saturday, let's just say the HSU defense will have to shine once more.

"Our guys take a lot of pride in it and they want to be one of the best defenses in the conference and in the country -- and they've done that up to this point," said head coach Jesse Burleson. "It's just up to us to be in a position to make plays and whenever it comes down to it, you know, you have to tackle and you have to be there."

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