In its Southland Conference opener, ACU got more than it could handle from Houston Baptist in a 27-24 overtime loss.
The Wildcats controlled the game in every aspect, including doubling the Huskies penalty yardage 90 to 45, but were unable to prevent a late connection from Tony Dawson to Wesley Lewis on HBU’s first play of overtime. Dawson threw for 239 yards and touchdown and was the Huskies leading rusher with 78 yards on 12 carries.
“We knew we had to get some pressure on him and we did, but sometimes though when we put pressure on him we were not as disciplined as we probably should have been in our rushing lanes and guys like that they are going to make plays,” said head football coach Ken Collums.
The game-winner came after redshirt junior Nik Grau converted his third field goal of the night from 38-yards out on ACU’s overtime possession. The Wildcats drive stalled after redshirt sophomore Dallas Sealey couldn’t connect with freshman Justin Miller on 3rd and 6 from the 21-yard line. Grau also converted from 42 and 34, but had a 37-yard attempt blocked late in the fourth quarter.
ACU led for just 15 minutes of the game after taking an 8-7 lead on a 23-yard pass from Sealey to junior receiver D.J. Fuller with 1:01 left in the first quarter. Fuller caught four pass for 40 yards and a touchdown, extending his consecutive games with a touchdown reception to three.
HBU regained the lead at 14-8 on a Dawson four-yard run with 56 seconds left in the first half, and Grau’s 42-yard field goal as time expired cut it to 14-11 at halftime.
“I thought we did some things in the second half to help ourselves out, but what you saw overall was just hit and miss football,” Collums said.
The 24-point performance was a drastic decrease in point production from last week’s 52, but the Wildcats still managed to outscore their opponent in the second half for the third straight week. Sealey gave them a 10-7 edge and tied the game at 21 when he found the End zone from 12 yards out with 4:10 to go in the fourth.
Sealey finished with 400-plus yards of total offense for the second consecutive game and added a rushing touchdown. He leads the Southland in rushing touchdowns with five and total offense with 1,082 yards.
“The number one thing is you have to fix your issues,” Collums said. “I just challenged each guy in our locker room, the number one thing is to look in the mirror and not say well I didn’t sign up for this or things are not going well.”
The loss drops ACU to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while HBU improves to 2-1 and 1-1 in the conference. The Wildcats are one of five teams in Div. 1 who have not committed a turnover this season and the only one of those five that are 0-3.