Ross Hasten carried the ball 28 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns while the ‘Roos quarterback Andy Braly rushed for 137 yards and passed for 119 more and a touchdown to lead AC.
The ‘Roos, trying to keep the ball out of McMurry’s hands after throwing for 479 yards a week ago, were successful holding the ball for 38:57 compared to McMurry’s 21:03. In fact, McMurry had the ball just 1:17 the entire third quarter.
Leading 14-12 in the third, McMurry’s Gene Hudson intercepted a pass in the end zone and tried to run it out making it to the McMurry 7-yard line. Then, McMurry’s offensive drive lasted just three plays before John Kowalski was forced to punt.
However, neither team scored in the third quarter before exploding to combine for 31 points in the fourth quarter. The ‘Roos struck first taking their first lead of the ball game on a 9-yard touchdown run from Hasten with 14:51 left in the fourth quarter. The touchdown run capped a 16-play 75-yard drive that ate 7:50 off the clock from midway through the third quarter into the opening seconds of the fourth.
Then, McMurry came back with Jake Mullin’s second touchdown pass to Antwaun Harris from 15 yards out. The two-point conversion failed ending the three-play 65-yard drive that took 1:15 off the clock.
AC got the ball back trailing 20-19 and put together a 11-play 52-yard march that ended with John Reisig hitting a 32-yard field goal to give the ‘Roos a 22-20 lead. Four plays, 64 yards and 1:16 later McMurry had regained the lead on Mullin’s third touchdown pass of the night; this time to Marcus Thompson from 22 yards away. McMurry led 27-22 with 7:45 remaining, however, it took just seven plays for the ‘Roos to respond and Hasten scored the game-winner with 4:31 left on the clock and Brogen Funderburg’s 2-point conversion gave AC a 30-27 lead.
McMurry appeared to be in position to re-gain the lead as Mullin led a drive to the AC 22-yard line. However, on first down and 10 to go Mullin’s pass to the end zone was intercepted by Evan Coachmen who returned it to the ‘Roos’ 4-yard line.
With 96 yards to go, AC continued to pound the ball and rushed for two first downs forcing McMurry to use all three timeouts. From there, the ‘Roos ran out the clock and improved to 2-0 on the season while McMurry fell to 0-2.
Mullin finished wtih 360 yards on 30 of 41 passing. The sophomore finished with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Defensively, McMurry’s Drew Wallace was two tackles off the school record after finishing with 22 (seven solo). However, Austin College’s 87 total plays sparked high tackle numbers for the McMurry defense. Will Morris had 13, Ricky Jimenez had 11 and Nick Hernandez had 10. The ‘Roos Matt Finke led the team with eight tackles and Coachman had both interceptions for AC.
McMurry finished with 381 yards of total offense; Marcus Franklin combined for 125 yards with 104 coming through the air on four receptions.
McMurry will play host to Mississippi College Saturday at 6 p.m. to begin American Southwest Conference play. The Choctaws will enter with a 1-1 record after falling to Cumberlands 55-26 Saturday.