War Hawks can't tame Tigers in road loss


MARSHALL, Texas - The McMurry University football team hung with the high-octane East Texas Baptist University team into the third quarter, before running out of steam in a 66-21 loss at Ornelas Stadium. The War Hawks fell to 2-7 (2-6 in the ASC), while the Tigers improved to 7-2 (6-2 ASC).

The War Hawks had their best opportunity to perhaps turn the tide, slip away in the third quarter. After McM's third touchdown of the day cut the deficit to 31-21, a blocked punt by Reagan Miller was recovered and returned by Jaylan Parks to the ETBU nine. With 8:15 left in the third period, McM was able to drive the ball all the way to the Tigers' one-yard line. But the drive stalled to thwart a golden opportunity for the visitors.

And things seemed to head south for the War Hawks from that point. After McMurry's deep incursion into Tigers' territory, ETBU turned right around and embarked on a four-play, 89-yard drive to extend its lead. It would be the beginning of a second half avalanche, as East Texas Baptist reeled off 35-unanswered points after McM failed to score from the Tigers' one.

The McM defense - which produced four takeaways and the blocked punt - looked to show the effects late of the break-neck pace set the ETBU offense, which snapped 93 plays in 24:34 minutes of possession time (that equates to one play every 15.8 seconds on offense).

Senior defensive back Jordan Washington had seven tackles (five solo) and a fumble recovery that set up the War Hawks' third TD of the game in the third quarter. Washington also made his fourth interception of the season, returning the ball 41 yards, and a fumble recovery. He was also credited with three pass break-ups.

Sophomore linebacker Josh Smith had a game-high 12 tackles. Seniors Charles Smith and Jacob Ferguson each had 10 tackles, as well. Defensive linemen Jalen Gomez and Dez Turner joined Washington with seven tackles. Isaiah Santos and Bryson Barrett each had a recovered fumble, as well.

On offense, sophomore quarterback Kevin Hurley Jr. completed 15-of-28 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns, moving into the No. 25 slot on McMurry's all-time passing yardage list. Hurley was intercepted twice and sacked two times, as well. Justin Eaton (six catches/46 yards) and Paul Humphrey (one catch/33 yards) each caught a touchdown aerial from Hurley.

Wade Barthelemy Jr. carried the ball 16 times for 91 yards to pace the McM ground game. Jovann Jones ran six times for 44 yards, an average of 7.3 yards per carry. Barthelemy had one rushing touchdown to his credit.

Eriel Dorsey had 198 all-purpose yards in the game. Dorsey had seven kickoff returns for 178 yards - an average of 25.4 yards per return - and also had 20 receiving yards.

McMurry will close out the 2017 campaign next Saturday at home, hosting crosstown rival - and the No. 5-ranked team in the NCAA III - Hardin-Simmons University. Kickoff at Wilford Moore Stadium is set for 1 p.m.

Courtesy McMurry Athletics.

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