Senior running back Tevin Mitchell ran for 232 yards, but Sul Ross State rallied to beat Hardin-Simmons 42-38 on Saturday afternoon in American Southwest Conference action at Jackson Field in Alpine.
Sul Ross State got on the board first when they intercepted Josh Christian on the Cowboys’ first drive of the game. Jeremy Boatright found Cordrick Mobley to cap a 3-play 34-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown.
HSU then scored 28 unanswered points to take a 28-6 lead. Freshman Weston Garner came in and led the Cowboys to touchdowns on his first two drives as quarterback. Mitchell ran for 58 yards on four carries in the first drive and capped it with a 1-yard run.
The Cowboy defense forced a quick punt and Garner was 3-for-3 for 68 yards and found Bryce Johnson on a 50-yard touchdown pass.
After forcing another punt, HSU went 74 yards in seven plays and Mitchell scored from four yards out to make it 21-6 with 3:23 to play in the first quarter.
Another punt led to a short field and HSU quickly went 38 yard in four plays with Garner finding Johnson from 28 yards out for another score to make it 28-6.
Boatright made the Cowboys pay for another interception by Garner with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mobley after the Lobos took the ball at the 9-yard line to make it 28-13. Late in the first half the Lobos stopped Mitchell before he could get out of the end zone for a safety. The teams then traded interceptions and HSU led 28-13 at halftime.
After an HSU three and out to start the second half the Lobos went 83 yards in nine plays and James Garner scored from three yards out to make it 28-21 as the PAT was again no good.
HSU answered right back with a 7-play 51-yard drive and Christian, who returned for the second half, found Colton Brewer for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 35-21 with 8:04 to play in the third quarter.
The Lobos again answered with a touchdown drive as Boatright found Derrick Barnard for a 10-yard score.
After a 36-yard kickoff return by Nick Runkles set the Cowboys up in Lobo territory HAS drove to the Sul Ross seven, but a sack stalled the drive and Mike Hursh hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 38-28 with 2:20 to play.
Boatright answered again with a 71 yard touchdown pass to Mobley to make it 38-35.
Stehl Ratliff returned the ensuing kickoff to the Sul Ross 34 on the next drive but the Cowboys only gained three yards and turned it over on downs. The teams then traded interceptions with Ben Hartley picking off Boatright and Randall Carroll interception Christian.
HSU punted to the Lobos and SRSU went 81 yard in six plays. Boatright found Del Wilson for a 59-yard touchdown with 3:12 to play.
The Cowboys took over at their own 40 and moved the ball quickly to the Sul Ross 18, but three straight incompletions and a sack on fourth down ended the drive and the Lobos ran out the clock for their first win of the season and the first win over HSU in 17 tries.
HSU rolled up 475 yards of offense, but turned the ball over six times including five interceptions. Sul Ross State had 449 yards in the game.
Christian was 10-for-21 with two interceptions, 121 yards and a touchdown and Garner was 8-for-15 with three interceptions, 110 yards and two touchdowns. James Place had nine total tackles for the Cowboys and added an interception and two pass break ups.
Boatright was 22-of-40 for 288 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions. Mobley had 12 catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns.
The loss drops the Cowboys to 3-5 on the year and to 2-3 in league play. Sul Ross State improved to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The loss snaps HSU’s 21-year run of consecutive winning seasons.
HSU will play undefeated Texas Lutheran next week at 1 p.m. at Shelton Stadium.
Information provided by HSU Athletics.