Rolling out the welcome mat
Bearkats tame Huskies 74-0 in HBU's inaugural game
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 01:09
Sam Houston State University recorded their fifth highest shutout in school history Saturday against Houston Baptist University; welcoming the NCAA football freshman team with a 74-0 blowout to open the 2013 season.
SHSU head coach Willie Fritz said the matchup against the Huskies was the final tune-up to conclude fall training.
“Our kids, I thought, learned a lot.” Fritz said. “We can watch the tape and everything else, but if you’re not playing 11-on-11 football it’s hard for them to learn the lessons they need to learn.”
Fritz said he kept full-contact scrimmages limited during fall camp and depended on Saturday’s matchup to work-out problems in the defense.
“The tough part for us defensively is tackling guys,” he said “We’re going to be able to clean things up in that regard.”
Senior wide-receiver Torrance Williams accounted for 187 all-purpose yards with two, 40-plus yard punt returns and 72 yards on the wide-out.
Williams kick started the offensive air attack with a 66-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brian Bell to extend SHSU’s first quarter lead 21-0.
The receiver said he has to step up to replace former Bearkat receiver Trey Diller on the offensive and special team spectrum. William’s punt returns set up four of SHSU’s 10 touchdowns.
“Field position is everything,” Williams said. “Just to be back there, I got to replace Diller from last year, the main thing is to catch everything. The other 10 guys had awesome blocks and I just ran around them.”
Fritz sat his starting lineups on both sides of the ball with a 52-0 lead to close out the first half. He said the second half was crucial for young players to clock in playing time. Williams remained in the game to receive HBU’s punts.
Redshirt freshmen Stephen Hicks and Don King III recorded their first collegiate touchdowns with a combined 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter. Fritz said King was disappointed after the game with his performance, stemming from a third quarter fumble with two missed passes.
Bell said he pushed King and third string quarterback Jared Johnson to focus on the technique during sideline huddles.
“You go out there and you get loose and all that good stuff and you get excited and caught up in the moment sometimes and you just got to think back to practice,” Bell said. “Once they started doing that they were fine.”
The three-letter quarterback attributed offensive tempo against a young HBU secondary for maintaining a strong presence in the air.
The young Bearkat defensive secondary and front defensive line kept HBU offensive production at a stand-still.
The Huskies recorded 90 offensive yards with zero productivity in the second half. Freshmen defensive back Shelby Davis returned a 48 yard interception for touchdown early in the second quarter, after struggling to lock down Husky wide-outs.
“We just had to adjust the game,” Davis said. “We brought the corner and safeties over. Coach wanted to play [the secondary] a different way.”
SHSU’s defense recorded 10 tackles for loss, totaling 32 complete yards led by sophomore Tristan Eche.
Senior running back Timothy Flanders extended his resume by becoming the all-time leader in the Southland Conference for rushing touchdowns. Flanders recorded a quarter of play time with 51 total yards, complete with a four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to put SHSU on the board.
Flanders is 410 yards shy of becoming the SLC all-time leader in rushing.
The Bearkats travel to College Station Saturday to line up against No. 5 Texas A&M for the second consecutive year. In 2012, the Aggies outlasted SHSU 47-28 despite the Bearkats outscoring the Aggies 28-7 in the second half.
Tickets are available online at www.gobearkats.com.