SHERMAN, Texas – An 82-yard pick six for Jackson Townsend set the tone early for the Austin College football team, as the 'Roos raced out to a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter on their way to a 34-12 win over Wayland Baptist University on Saturday. The 'Roos are now 2-0 to open the year.
Townsend's interception return came just two and a half minutes into the game, and the 'Roos struck again after pinning WBU deep in their own territory. A short punt set Austin College up on the friendly side of midfield, and a 32 yard drive got capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run from Tom Clancy to make it 14-0 with 9:26 left in the quarter.
Another strong defensive effort gave Austin College the ball back just a couple minutes later, and two passes by Colt Collins covered 71 yards, with the second connection being a 30-yard scoring strike to Brennan Ellis to make it 21-0 with 6:53 remaining in the first. That would wind up being the last scoring play of the quarter, but Austin College pushed its lead to 28-0 early in the second quarter when Collins found Kyle Mucerino in the back of the endzone for an 8-yard touchdown with 13:16 left before halftime.
Wayland Baptist's offense woke up a few possessions later, with the Pioneers covering 68 yards in just five plays with Mitchell Parsley finding De'Sean Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown, but RJ Romero blocked the ensuing point after to keep it a 28-6 game. That's how things would stay in the first half, and it'd be Austin College getting on the board first in the third quarter with a 34-yard field goal by Cesar Ruiz to push it to a 31-6 advantage.
The Pioneers would tack on a 38-yard field goal by Daniel Martinez to cut it to a 31-9 game after three, but the 'Roos would get on the board one more time just four seconds into the fourth, this time with Ruiz drilling a 37-yarder to make it 34-9.
Wayland Baptist drove the ball all the way down to the 1-yard line before the Austin College defense stuffed back-to-back runs, and an offensive pass interference call negated a touchdown and pushed the Pioneers back to the 18. Hunter Mills broke through the line to come up with one of Austin College's six sacks on the day on the next play, forcing WBU to settle for a 41-yard field goal to make it 34-12 with nine minutes to play and that's how the game would end after Townsend picked off his second pass of the day to seal things for the 'Roo defense.
Collins finished the game completing 9-of-21 passes for 161 yards with two touchdowns and added 80 yards on 13 carries, while Mucerino hauled in five passes for 102 yards and a score. TJ Melontree made 10 tackles and forced a fumble, and Darlon Chandler had six tackles, including 2.5 sacks, while Townsend had six stops and a pair of picks to lead the Austin College defense.
Parsley completed 18-of-32 passes for 269 yards with a touchdown and two picks, while the Pioneers were held to just 94 yards on the ground for an average of just 2.5 yards-per-carry. The 'Roos have held both opponents so far this year under 100 yards rushing.
Austin College will be looking to continue its momentum next weekend when they take on Sewanee at home with kickoff set for 11:00 a.m. at Jerry Apple Stadium, in what will be the program's first Southern Athletic Association contest.