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TLU football sends seniors out in style with dominant second half against McMurry



ABILENE, TX – Texas Lutheran Football sent 15 senior student-athletes out in style Saturday with a dominant second-half performance in a 51-21 conference victory over McMurry.

At TLU’s Bulldog Stadium (Frank L. Dunne Field), TLU shut-out the War Hawks in the second half, outscoring the visitors from Abilene, Texas 27-0 in the final 30 minutes of action.

The Bulldogs (3-1, 3-1 American Southwest Conference) clinched the No. 2 seed for the ASC cross-divisional fifth game of the 2021 spring season. The Bulldogs will play the No. 2 seed from the ASC East on their home field.

The ASC East No. 2 seed could be Louisiana College, East Texas Baptist or Belhaven (Miss.) still with one week left in the ASC’s regular season. The ASC West v. ASC East cross-division games will take place on March 27 with the West’s No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 seeds as the East’s No. 2 and No. 4 seeds serving as hosts.

In Saturday’s win over the War Hawks, TLU set a new season-high for rushing yards in a game, with 389 yards on 65 carries. The Bulldogs averaged 6.0 yards per rush and registered four rushing touchdowns.

First-year running back DaKory Willis rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown. He scored on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Senior back Chris Monroe scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, on runs of 24 yards (game’s first touchdown) and 15 yards (first score of fourth quarter).

Monroe finished the day with seven carries for 63 yards.

Senior running back Cason Hickingbottom capped off the Bulldog win with a 10-yard TD rush late in the fourth.

John-Anthony Person carried the ball 18 times for 94 yards, and sophomore quarterback Seth Cosme rushed 16 times for 58 yards.

Cosme threw touchdown passes of 28 and 22 yards to Keon Torello (St. Louis, Mo./Austin Crockett) and Mason Perkins, respectively.

TLU led 17-0 after the first quarter, but the War Hawks rallied to score 21 points in the second quarter. The Bulldogs led 24-21 at the half and only 30-21 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs put together a seven-play, 42-yard scoring drive early in the fourth to push the lead to 37-21. The score was the second touchdown of the day for Monroe.

TLU essentially put the game out of reach with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Willis’ score from 15 yards. TLU ran the ball on nine of the 10 plays on that drive.

The Bulldogs scored on their last four drives (a field goal and three touchdowns). TLU’s time of possession hit 37:24. The Bulldogs ran 83 plays.

TLU was 6-for-6 on red-zone scoring chances. Junior place-kicker Juan Ocampo made field goals of 20, 23, and 28 yards.

McMurry’s second-half possessions went: interception, punt, punt, interception, punt, end of half.

Eugene Robinson IV, a freshman linebacker/safety from Lake Charles, La., made a career-best 14 tackles. He added a tackle for loss.

Senior linebacker Keyshawn Holman and senior safety James Bell added eight and seven tackles, respectively.

TLU interceptions went to Robert Ramirez III and Dimitri Zavala.