Hardin-Simmons’ football team twice drove inside the 30 yard line trying to tie the game in the fourth quarter but Louisiana College stopped them on downs both times and the Wildcats held on for a 45-37 win in a battle for second place in the American Southwest Conference on Saturday afternoon in Pineville.
After a deflected pass led to a Nate Janzen interception LC scored on the next play on a 16-yard Ryan Montague touchdown run to take the lead at 45-37. The Cowboys drove down to the LC three yard line and actually scored a touchdown by Trei Lewis but he was called for offensive pass interference. HSU could not score after the penalty and LC took over.
HSU forced a quick three and out and had the ball at the end and drove it to the LC 28, but a pair of passes to the end zone were knocked away to preserve the win for the Wildcats.
LC took an early lead when Jamie Bunting hit D’Mario Parker on a 63-yard TD pass with 12:12 to play in the first quarter on a flea-flicker. Logan Turner answered with a 5-yard TD pass to Garret Schuchart.
The Wildcats went back to their bag of tricks with a 27-yard halfback touchdown pass from Kyle Galyon to Bryan Sampson and HSU answered on the next play as Turner hit Trei Lewis on a 61-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14 with 2:20 to play in the first quarter.
HSU took the lead on a 27-yard pass from Turner to Devin Carver and the PAT was blocked to make it 20-14. Adan Olivares scored on a 47-yard field goal and then Cortland Bell scored with 1:27 to play in the half on a 44-yard TD pass from Bunting.
The Cowboys executed the two-minute drill with perfection and Turner hit Lewis from 13-yards out to give HSU a 27-24 lead with :30 to play in the half.
LC took the lead at 31-27 with 9:14 to play in the third quarter on a 30-yard pass from Bunting to Montague. HSU retook the lead, 34-31, on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Corey Jones from Turner with 2:25 to play in the third quarter, but LC answered with a four-play 78-yard drive that Gaylon capped with a 5-yard TD pass from Bunting with :44 to play in the third quarter.
HSU cut the deficit to 38-37 with 12:41 to play on a 26-yard field goal from Scott Newberry. It was the seniors’ 19th career field goal, pushing him to second all-time at HSU.
HSU finished the game with 575 yards and LC had 538. Bunting was 31-of-39 for 408 yards and four TDs for LC.
Turner completed 37-of-65 passes for 524 yards and five touchdowns. In the last four games of the year he completed 128-of-215 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Corey Jones (12-113), Lewis (7-127) and Colton Brewr (5-103) all had over 100 yards in the game.
Turner finished the year with HSU single-season records for passing attempts (431), passing yards (4,116) and touchdowns (43). His 65 pass attempts on Saturday were also a school record.
Brandon Abbott averaged 46 yards on three punts and set a school record with an average of 42.38 yards per kick.
Undra Hendrix had two sacks and three tackles for loss in his final game. He finished with 11 sacks, which was an HSU record for defensive tackles. He also had 19 tackles for loss. He finished his career fifth at HSU with 15.5 sacks. Brandon Scott and Ryne Lewis each had 10 tackles in the game, Lewis had three tackles for loss and a sack.
HSU set the school record with 558.4 yards per game, 423.3 passing yards per game and 7.4 yards per play.
The game was the final game for 20 HSU seniors.
The Cowboys finished the season with a record of 6-4. HSU finished conference play with a 5-2 record. LC finished the year at 8-2 and 6-1 in ASC play. The Wildcats will hope for an at-large berth into the NCAA playoffs.
Information provided by HSU athletics department.