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TLU Football Game Preview for Game 6 (Bulldogs at Howard Payne)

Photo by Dustin Wyatt.
Photo by Dustin Wyatt.

TLU vs. Howard Payne

(Howard Payne leads series, 22-21-1)

1952 Howard Payne 39, Texas Lutheran 13

1953 Howard Payne 21, Texas Lutheran 0

1962 Howard Payne 14, Texas Lutheran 7

1963 Texas Lutheran 8, Howard Payne 7

1964 Texas Lutheran 7, Howard Payne 0

1969 Howard Payne 15, Texas Lutheran 13

1971 Howard Payne 7, Texas Lutheran 0

1972 Howard Payne 7, Texas Lutheran 0

1973 Howard Payne 28, Texas Lutheran 7**

1974 Texas Lutheran 50, Howard Payne 14

1975 Howard Payne 17, Texas Lutheran 12

1976 Texas Lutheran 32, Howard Payne 16

1977 Howard Payne 30, Texas Lutheran 7

1978 Texas Lutheran 18, Howard Payne 12

1979 Texas Lutheran 23, Howard Payne 6

1980 Howard Payne 14, Texas Lutheran 3

1981 Howard Payne 35, Texas Lutheran 6

1982 Texas Lutheran 24, Howard Payne 20

1983 Howard Payne 10, Texas Lutheran 9

1984 Texas Lutheran 7, Howard Payne 7

1985 Howard Payne 26, Texas Lutheran 8

1986 Texas Lutheran 9, Howard Payne 0

1987 Texas Lutheran 27, Howard Payne 13

1987 Howard Payne 56, Texas Lutheran 37

1998 Howard Payne 39, Texas Lutheran 0

1999 Howard Payne 42, Texas Lutheran 7

2000 Howard Payne 45, Texas Lutheran 13

2001 Howard Payne 36, Texas Lutheran 29

2002 Howard Payne 49, Texas Lutheran 10

2003 Howard Payne 49, Texas Lutheran 24

2004 Texas Lutheran 44, Howard Payne 38

2005 Howard Payne 21, Texas Lutheran 14

2006 Texas Lutheran 28, Howard Payne 23

2007 Texas Lutheran 55, Howard Payne 48

2008 Texas Lutheran 28, Howard Payne 21

2009 Howard Payne 45, Texas Lutheran 23

2010 Howard Payne 39, Texas Lutheran 17

2011 Texas Lutheran 51, Howard Payne 13

2012 Texas Lutheran 47, Howard Payne 6

2013 Texas Lutheran 63, Howard Payne 14

2014 Texas Lutheran 54, Howard Payne 27

2015 Texas Lutheran 49, Howard Payne 20

2017 Texas Lutheran 63, Howard Payne 21

2018 Texas Lutheran 53, Howard Payne 7

** forfeit by Howard Payne


45th all-time meeting between TLU, HPU

Texas Lutheran and Howard Payne meet for the 45th all-time in their respective histories when they meet again this Saturday in Brownwood. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium in Brownwood, Texas. Howard Payne leads the series 22-21-1. TLU has won the last seven meetings and 10 of the last 12 against the Yellow Jackets. In those seven wins, TLU has scored at least 47 points.

Two-time ASC Player of the Week

TLU sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman picked up his second ASC Player of the Week award last week after the 59-21 win over Louisiana College. While only playing in the first half, Freeman completed all 13 of his passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Not only was Freeman great in the air, he also rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on a mere six attempts.

Bulldogs' Receiver Duo Steps Up

CJ Romero and Mason Perkins have stood out for the Bulldogs at receiver. The two have put up great numbers. Last week, Romero caught three touchdowns, giving him five on the year across 15 receptions. Though Perkins has only one touchdown, he leads the team in receptions and receiving yards with 263 yards across 20 receptions.

Three-headed Ground Attack

Between Austin Mathews, Ian Leslie, and Chris Monroe, the Bulldogs' have been difficult to stop on the ground. Each player is averaging more than 50 rushing yards per game and have a combined average of 5.4 yards per attempt. Combining for 898 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, the Bulldogs will certainly have somebody to get the job done.

Offensive Line Dominance Continues

Only allowing 1.8 sacks per game, the Bulldogs' offensive line has been one of the team's keys to success. The line has not only protected the quarterback, but this line has plowed through defenses to make running lanes for a total of 1,308 yards on the ground.

TLU No. 1 in DIII in Turnover Margin

The Bulldogs are tied for the No. 1 spot in all of NCAA Division III in terms of turnover margin. TLU is tied with McDaniel College (from Westminster, Maryland) at plus-2.8 turnover margin per game. The Bulldogs are one of seven teams in DIII yet to throw an interception, and TLU ranks 11th in total turnovers lost, just four on the year. TLU also is 13th in the nation in number of passes intercepted by its defense, 10. The Bulldogs have scored 76 points off turnovers.

Bulldogs also No. 1 Defensive Touchdowns

The Bulldogs also have another top national ranking, this one coming in the defensive touchdowns scored category. The Bulldogs have scored four defensive touchdowns and are tied nationally with Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) and Westminster (Pa.).

Limiting Passing Touchdowns

The Bulldogs' defense has done an excellent job at stopping opposing teams from scoring through the air. The TLU "D" has allowed only four touchdowns so far. Opposing offenses average a passing completion percentage of 53.4 percent.

Kedrick Ward's Big Game

TLU senior cornerback Kedrick Ward stepped up big in the last game against Louisiana College with two early interceptions that set the tone for the game. Both interceptions turned into drives that the Bulldogs converted into touchdowns. Ward also had two tackles and an assisted tackle for loss as well as a pass break-up.

The Turnovers Gained Don't Stop

After forcing five more turnovers against Louisiana College, the Bulldogs have now forced 16 turnovers the past three games. The interceptions for Kedrick Ward were accompanied by an interception from Nile Pollard that was returned 21 yards and fumble recoveries by Brandon Bennett and Hunter Jaehne.

Bulldogs Average Three Sacks a Game

With 15 sacks on the year so far, the Bulldogs have been getting to the opposing quarterback consistently. The Bulldogs are 43rd nationally in sacks per game. Derek Dunn leads the Bulldogs with four, followed closely by Jackson Worley with 3.5. TLU career sack leader Manny Longoria also has three sacks on the year, bringing his career sack total to 21.5.

Third Down Stops Aplenty

On third down, the Bulldogs' defense has held opposing teams to a 31 percent success rate. The Bulldogs are 44th nationally in that category. Add that stopping power to the turnovers, and it's easy to see how the Bulldogs have limited their opponents to only 26 minutes, 32 seconds of time of possession per game.

HPU's Estes Has 165.2 Efficiency Rating

Howard Payne quarterback Caleb Estes currently has a 68.6 completion percentage and has a touchdown-to-interception rate of 13-4. Estes also has racked up 1,158 yards through the air so far this season. 

HPU's 3-Man Rushing Attack Like TLU Howard Payne shares the responsibility of running the ball with a large cast. Currently, Cameron Keener is the top running back. He leads the team in rushing yards and touchdowns with 210 yards and three touchdowns. Billy Reagins is second on the team with 192 rushing yards and one touchdown. Reagins is followed by Kaidrion Latson with 110 yards and one touchdown. 

Four Receivers with 100+ Receiving Yards

Estes has been spreading the ball around this year to many targets, but mainly Estes likes to find DunTayviun Gross, who has 28 receptions for 288 yards and five touchdowns. Thomas Williams and Jordan Bryant both have 14 receptions so far, with Williams gaining 314 yards and four touchdowns and Bryant gaining 222 yards with two touchdowns. Jade Parker also has over 100 receiving yards, coming in at 150 yards with 13 receptions with a single touchdown.

O-line Protecting the Quarterback

Though Howard Payne has three big losses on their resume, they only have allowed their QB to get sacked eight times over the first five games. The Yellow Jackets are 84th nationally (out of 247) in sacks allowed.

Failure to Capitalize on Turnovers

Though Howard Payne has forced five turnovers, the HPU offense has yet to convert their defense's success into any points. With zero points off turnovers, the Yellow Jackets have failed to exploit opponents' mistakes.

HPU Gives Up 45.2 Points Per Game

Howard Payne has done a poor job at stopping opposing offenses from scoring, giving up a total of 226 points so far this season. Fifteen touchdowns have come on the ground while 16 have been scored through the air.

Austin Kilgore Leads Defense in Tackles

HPU linebacker Austin Kilgore is leading the team in total tackles with 32. Of Kilgore's 32 tackles, 15 have been solo, and 17 have been assisted, with one and a half of his tackles going for a loss. Kilgore has also been good in coverage with two passes broken up and two defended.

Davis, Jakubowski Get to Backfield

The Yellow Jackets' Michael Davis and James Jakubowski lead the defense in getting to the quarterback, each recording two sacks so far. Not only do they pressure the quarterback on pass plays, but they lead the team in tackles for loss. Jakubowski has three and a half tackles for loss, while Davis has three.

Connor Day is the Secondary's Best

Connor Day has stood out from his teammates this year by leading them in interceptions with two so far this year. Not only does he have the interceptions, but he is second in tackles with 26 on the year. Eighteen of them have been of the solo variety.

Opponents score TDs in Red Zone

Once opponents hit the "red zone," the Yellow Jackets have allowed teams to score a touchdown 75 percent of the time. Opposing teams have walked away with at least some points 85 percent of the time.

Last Week - Texas Lutheran

TLU 59, Louisiana College 21

The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs forced five more turnovers, showed no letdown after last week's road win over then-No. 6 Hardin-Simmons, and cruised Saturday to a 59-21 Alumni & Family Weekend victory over Louisiana College.

At Bulldog Stadium (Frank L. Dunne Field), TLU won its fourth straight game and moved to 4-0 in the American Southwest Conference. The Bulldogs are 4-1 overall. 

LC dropped to 2-4 overall and to 2-3 in the ASC.  

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second quarter. TLU sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman (Richmond/Bush) threw three touchdown passes to CJ Romero (Odem/Odem) to start the Bulldog scoring attack. 

The first Freeman-to-Romero connection covered five yards and completed a 12-play, 80-yard drive. The second TD pass went for 28 yards and capped a six-play, 61-yard drive. The third TD pass went for 26 yards and ended a 1-play drive that followed an LC fumble on a kickoff. 

Last Game - Howard Payne

Louisiana College 27, HPU 21 

A late game drive be Louisiana College proved to be the difference in a 27-21 loss for the Howard Payne University football team Saturday, Oct. 5  at Gordon Wood Stadium. 

Louisiana College would score with 45 seconds left in the game to give the Wildcats the 27-21 lead over Howard Payne after a blocked extra point by the Yellow Jackets.  

Howard Payne would strike first in the game on its opening drive with a nine-yard run by Cameron Keener that capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive by the Yellow Jackets.  

After the Wildcats scored on their opening drive, the Jackets closed out the first half with a Shannon Warren two-yard run with 2:40 left to give HPU a 14-7 halftime lead. 

The Wildcats scored twice in the third quarter to gain a 21-14 advantage with 2:24 left in the third period.  

The Jackets then tied the game a 21-21 on a DunTayvion Gross 23-yard TD reception from Caleb Estes with 13:52 left in the game. It capped an eight-play, 75 yard drive for the Yellow Jackets.