HUNTSVILLE, Texas – It was not the beginning HBU was hoping for, but it was a beginning nonetheless and Huskies football is now a reality.
Fourth-ranked and national runner-up the past two seasons Sam Houston State handed HBU a 74-0 defeat in the Huskies’ first game in program history Saturday night at Bowers Stadium.
“While we made a lot of mistakes and things you and would liked to have thought we were capable of playing better, you really can’t put into context just how young we are and just how big of an opportunity this was to grow our program,” HBU head coach Vic Shealy said. “I’m confident – even though this was a tough game – this was good for our program, in the sense we will narrow the gap between us and the rest of the conference a year from now, having played this game.”
Freshman running back B.J. Kelly gained 53 yards on 13 attempts for the Huskies (0-1), while freshman quarterback Ka’Darius Baker completed 6-of-15 passes for 33 yards and an interception. Sophomore wide receiver Trey Sudds caught one pass for 20 yards, while freshman Wesley Lewis caught two for 15 yards. Freshman safety Cody Moncure led HBU with 11 tackles, while Taylor Thompson added nine and Terrell Brown and Garrett Dolan had seven each.
“We know we came in expecting a hard game, so we take away we have a lot to improve on,” Baker said. “I hope everyone sees the film and sees what they need to do to improve on the things they see they did wrong and work hard to get better.”
“We definitely picked up the speed of college football and we have a lot to learn,” Kelly said. “It was fun coming out with new guys and a new program, and it showed us where we can go. ”
Sam Houston State piled up 370 yards on the ground for the game. Steven Hicks rushed 17 times for 99 yards and a touchdown, while Richard Sincere had three carries for 64 yards for the Bearkats (1-0). Tim Flanders rushed nine times for 52 yards and a score, while Cory Idlebird had six carries for 51 yards. Brian Bell completed 5-of-9 passes for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Torrance Williams made two receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown for the Bearkats.
In the first quarter, SHSU opened the scoring as Flanders scored a four-yard touchdown with 11:27 left. Keshawn Hill added a four-yard touchdown run of his own to put the Bearkats ahead, 14-0, with 8:58 to go. Bell hooked up with Torrance Williams for a 66-yard touchdown pass with 6:19 left.
The Bearkats went up 28-0 when Josh Lyons made an eight-yard reception out of the backfield for a score with 13:12 left in the second quarter. Shelby Davis intercepted a pass by Fleming and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown to give SHSU a 35-0 lead with 11:38 remaining in the half. Bell kept the ball on an option and ran two yards to put the Bearkats ahead, 42-0, with 6:28 to go.
Steven Hicks scored on a rush from four yards out as SHSU took a 49-0 lead at the half.
SHSU got on the board in the second half on Luc Swimberghe’s 48-yard field goal to take a 52-0 lead with 10:44 left. The Bearkats quickly scored again when Tristan Eche intercepted a Baker pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Don King III added a three-yard run for a score with 4:03 remaining. The Bearkats added a safety and Cory Idlebird had a three-yard touchdown run with 3:58 to go in the game.
Sam Houston State and HBU will be Southland Conference rivals when the Huskies officially begin FCS play next season. The two teams are tentatively slated to face off Nov. 15, 2014, in Houston.
The Huskies return to action when they travel to face Wayland Baptist Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in Plainview, Texas.