December 12, 2017

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ETBU Keepst Tight Grip on Claw

For the third year in a row, East Texas Baptist University will keep the coveted Border Claw Trophy. A near record setting performance from ETBU quarterback Brian Baca was too much for the Wildcats to overcome in the 68-35 loss. The Wildcats will travel to Belhaven University next week for a 6pm kickoff in American Southwest Conference play.

The first score of the game came from the Tiger following an 11-play drive that covered 56-yards after an opening drive interception thrown by D’Ondre Joseph. A 24-yard field goal put the Tigers ahead 3-0 with 8:46 left in the first quarter. Two drives later, another turnover by the Wildcats, this time a fumble, set up the game’s first touchdown, a 25-yard pass on the next play from scrimmage. The extra point attempt was blocked making the score 9-0 Tigers.

The tumultuous beginning to the game continued for the Wildcats as a fumble on the ensuing kickoff set ETBU up at the LC 17-yard line. The Tigers once again took advantage of the turnover and good field position with another touchdown to make the score 16-0, scoring two touchdowns in the span of 13 seconds. The Wildcats settled themselves and engineered their first scoring drive of the game to cut into the Tiger lead. A 33-yard pass to Drake Battaglia set up the 17-yard touchdown score to Shedrick Davis.

ETBU scored on their first drive of the second quarter to go ahead 23-7, but the Wildcat offense could not find the rhythm they had in the first quarter. LC had four possessions in the second quarter that all ended in punts, including three drives ending after just three plays. ETBU added to their lead late in the quarter on a 3-yard pass with 3:58 left in the half to produce the 30-7 score at the break.

The Wildcats began the second half with the football and got prime field position thanks to a 62-yard kickoff return by C.J. McGarner. LC turned the field position into points three plays later on a 15-yard run by D’Angelo Moore. The momentum would be short lived as the rest of the time quarter belonged to the Tigers and their passing attack. Baca threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns in the quarter on 9-of-14 attempts. One of the blemishes in the quarter was an impressive 75-yard interception return for a touchdown by freshman linebacker Julius Johnson.

Both LC and ETBU scored two touchdowns each in the fourth quarter, keeping the game out of the Wildcats reach down the stretch. Freshman quarterback Wayne Griffin came on in relief of Joseph for the second half and threw two fourth quarter touchdowns to Riley DiMaggio. Griffin found DiMaggio for a 45-yard and a 10-yard score in the quarter.

Wayne Griffin finished the game with 254 passing yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-32 passing. Running back Aaron Woods had another solid outing with 92 yards on 24 carries, and Shed Davis made seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Riley DiMaggio caught two passes, both touchdowns for 55 yards in the game.

The Wildcats were led in tackles by Ryan DeMattie and Julius Johnson, both with nine in the game. Johnson added an interception for touchdown and a tackle for loss. Jesse Provost made 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in the game and the Wildcats had five total sacks.

LC travels to Belhaven next week for an ASC matchup with the Blazers that kicks off at 6pm. Their final home game of the season is the following week as they host the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on senior day at Wildcat Stadium. Stay connected to Louisiana College football by following @LC_ftball on Twitter or liking LC Athletics on Facebook.

About Andy Bryson 572 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach