ACU played host for the first time this season to Arizona Christian in a dominating 66-14 win Saturday night.
The Arizona Christian Firestorms were only able to total 191 yards of offense during their defeat. Three different quarterbacks took the field for the Firestorms, but were led stats wise by true freshman quarterback Tyler Duncan.
Junior wide receiver Bailey Ehrlich led the Firestorm’s receiving core by hauling in 49 yards on just two receptions from Duncan.
The Wildcats were able to take care of the ball Saturday by limiting themselves to just one turnover, but they racked up 80 yards off of nine penalties. Even though the Wildcats won in dominating fashion, Coach Dorrel still felt the team has things to work on.
“I thought we played well other than some dumb penalties in the first half.” Dorrel said. “Other than that I thought we did what we were supposed to do and kudos to our kids for stepping up and being leaders.”
They started off strong on the opening drive with a 38-yard pass from junior quarterback Luke Anthony to junior wide receiver Justus Lee. The next drive, Anthony and the Wildcats were able to have their way with the Firestorm’s defense when senior running back Tracy James punched the ball into the end zone with a 22-yard touchdown run.
Dorrel said that Anthony did a tremendous job in the first half.
“He rebounded and took a couple of big hits,” Dorrel said. “He came and delivered a touchdown afterwards, and I was proud of his toughness and the way he distributed the football.”
At halftime the score was lopsided with the Wildcats holding a commanding 45-0 lead. Abilene Christian’s defense gave up only seven yards during the first half.
Dorrel said the key components of the game were winning the first down battles.
“We were able to stop the run and were able to get negative plays and provide an excellent pass rush” Dorrel said.
After eventually slowing things down, Anthony was able to finish with 260 yards off of just 18-26 passing. James only rushed for 55 yards, but was able to find the end zone twice on nothing but eight carries.
Although James saw limited action he was excited to see all of the running backs get into the rotation.
“It just shows how great our depth is and shows that anyone is able to score.” James said “I know Coach Dorrel and the team likes that we can get guys going.”
The Wildcats’ offense was able to tally up 703 yards of total offense with 278 coming through the air and 425 coming on the ground.
James was glad they were able to bounce back from last weeks defeat to UNT but knows there’s still room to improve.
“I feel as if we did great things.” James said “The stats were there, but there’s always something we can improve on for next week.”
Following the win during the home opener, the Wildcats go on the road to face Central Arkansas to try and avenge last seasons’ loss. Meanwhile, Arizona Christian stays on the road to face Wayland Baptist Saturday at noon.