Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Game Preview: Texas Lutheran hosts Hendrix College - 6 p.m. Saturday in Bulldog Stadium

Game Preview: Texas Lutheran hosts Hendrix College - 6 p.m. Saturday in Bulldog Stadium

Full Game Preview

Live Video / Live Stats

KWED 1580 AM webcast

 

Texas Lutheran Bulldogs

(0-0, 0-0 ASC)

vs.

Hendrix College Warriors

(1-0, 0-0 SAA)

 

Game Facts

 

DATE: ...................................................................  Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019

KICKOFF: ..............................................................  6 p.m.

PLACE: ..................................................................  Seguin, Texas

STADIUM: .............................................................  Bulldog Stadium (Frank L. Dunne Field)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

TLU RADIO:  ..........................................................  KWED 1580 AM (Seguin, Texas)

VIDEO WEBCAST / LIVE STATS: .............................  www.tlubulldogs.com (TLU)

AUDIO WEBCASTS: ................................................  www.seguintoday.com (TLU)

                                                                                   www.tlubulldogs.com (TLU)

 

LAST GAME - TEXAS LUTHERAN: ............................  Bye Week, Week 1

                                                               

LAST GAME - HENDRIX:  ........................................  Won, vs. Lyon College (Ark.), 28-20                                                                                              

                                            Sept. 7, 2019 in Conway, Ark. (Young-Wise Memorial Stadium)

 

ALL-TIME SERIES: .................................................  Series tied, 1-1

LAST MEETING: .....................................................  TLU 19, Hendrix 14

                                        Sept. 8, 2018 in Seguin, Texas (Bulldog Stadium)

 

TLU vs. HENDRIX STREAK:  ....................................  TLU has won one in a row.

TLU OVERALL W-L STREAK: ...................................  TLU has lost one in a row.

HENDRIX OVERALL W-L STREAK: ..........................  Hendrix has won one in a row.

 

LAST YEAR – TEXAS LUTHERAN: ............................  7-3 overall / 6-3 ASC

LAST YEAR – HENDRIX: .........................................  2-8 overall / 1-7 SAA

                                                         

TLU HEAD COACH: .................................................  Carl Gustafson, 3rd season

OVERALL RECORD (TLU): .......................................  13-7 (.650) / 12-6 (.667) ASC

OVERALL RECORD (COLLEGE): ...............................  13-7 (.650) / 12-6 (.667) ASC

vs. HENDRIX ..........................................................  1-1

 

HENDRIX HEAD COACH: .........................................  Buck Buchanan, 7th season

OVERALL RECORD (ETBU): .....................................  35-27 (.565) / 23-21 (.523) SAA

OVERALL RECORD (COLLEGE): ...............................  35-27 (.565) / 23-21 (.523) SAA

vs. TEXAS LUTHERAN .............................................  1-1

 

SEASON-OPENER FOR BULLDOGS

The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs open the 2019 campaign with a home contest against non-conference rival Hendrix College, out of Conway, Ark. The match-up will mark the third straight season in which the Bulldogs have opened up the year against Hendrix. The Warriors have a game under their belt. Hendrix defeated Lyon 28-20 in Conway last Saturday.

 

THIRD ALL-TIME MEETING

TLU and Hendrix have met just two prior times in their respective football histories. The first meeting came in 2017 - the very first game as head coach at TLU for Carl Gustafson. Hendrix took the first meeting 38-28 in Conway, Ark. The second meeting, just last year in Seguin, came out in favor of the Bulldogs, 19-14. The game was played in a heavy rainstorm, and both teams lost their starting quarterbacks in the course of the contest.

 

THIRD YEAR FOR GUSTAFSON

Texas Lutheran Head Coach Carl Gustafson starts his third season at the helm of the Bulldogs' football program. He previously had spent two seasons as the offensive line coach (in 2014 and 2015). Gustafson has led TLU to back-to-back winning seasons and to back-to-back third place finishes in the always-tough American Southwest Conference. Gustafson is 13-7 overall and 12-6 in conference play as head coach.

 

GUSTAFSON EXCITED ABOUT 2019

"We love this group," says Carl Gustafson. "The great thing about being in a school system or coaching an annual sport, every year you get to restart and every year you feel like that is the favorite team you've ever coached The perspective I have now is that I appreciate these young men. They are good guys that handle their business on the field and more importantly off the field. We have a roster filled with those types of young men."

 

READY TO TAKE NEXT STEP

After finishing just outside the top two in the American Southwest Conference for the last two seasons, with the top two teams being invited to the NCAA playoffs in those two seasons, Gustafson knows the goal is to get the Bulldogs back to the NCAA playoffs, something they've done only once (2014). "Most definitely, that is the goal," Gustafson said. "I also understand that a team competing in a competitive league like the ASC that you have to have some good fortune and you have to stay healthy, especially in this league. Is this team capable of that? This Saturday we will know more about this group. Obviously we want to take the next step. It's what they talk about. It's not really what the coaches talk about. We want them to get that reward."

 

NEW FACES AT QUARTERBACK

Sophomore Wade Freeman and senior Andrew Lotz are at the top of the quarterback depth chart for Saturday's contest with Hendrix. Whoever starts Saturday will be making their first career collegiate start at QB. Freeman and Lotz each earned varsity letters last season. Freeman did see some time in back-up duties at quarterback last year, and Lotz was the starting tight end. Lotz moved from tight end to quarterback in the off-season while backup quarterback Jarvis Brooks made the move to tight end this preseason. "(Freeman and Lotz) are talented football players," said Gustafson. "Both very experienced now at the collegiate level Both were very successful high school quarterbacks. Both have done great jobs since they have been in the program. Andrew has played another position for two years to help the team first. Wade also is a team-first guy. Both have the respect of their teammates. They see how they work. Wade is a dynamic athlete. He has a good grasp of the offense, and he has the talents of being able to create with his feet. He is very quick and agile, so sometimes when things break down around him he is able to turn a negative play into a positive play. Andrew brings another skill set. He is a typical dropback passer. He has good size. He is tall, and he has a strong arm. He throws the long ball extremely well. Andrew is really progressing in understanding the picture as to what we want to accomplish offensively. Both guys will see playing time this first week."

 

LEANING ON RUSHING ATTACK

The Bulldogs return all three running backs - Austin Mathews, Chris Monroe, and Ian Leslie - that started games in 2018. Monroe and Leslie missed significant time due to injury after getting off to hot starts. Mathews rushed for 14 touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards after starting the year as the third-string back. Mathews and Monroe are slated to start Saturday against Hendrix. "The reasons we feel good offensively is that even with young quarterbacks, we feel the experience around them is going to help whoever that quarterback is," said Gustafson. "Part of that experience is at running back. Three outstanding running backs that are patient runners, use blockers well, but also very explosive. All three guys are very good pass catchers as well. We are always an offense that feels like the run opens up the pass This year the run opens up the pass, but the run also takes some pressure off whoever is getting the snaps."

 

EXPERIENCE UP FRONT

The Bulldogs return four of five starters to the offensive line for the opener against Hendrix. Although Cameron Bennett (at center) and Coy Tutt (at guard) weren't listed as the starters on Monday on the depth chart. Both are coming off injuries and hope to be ready to go for Saturday. Travis York at left tackle, Garrett Garza at left guard, and Nike Gooden at right tackle anchor the unit. "We are excited about the offensive line," said Gustafson. "We had a challenge of going to scrimmage Trinity with just a few days of padded practices under our belt. We learned a lot, some good and some bad. These guys just bring the intangibles every day. Great young men that will work hard and get better. They are down there grunting to get better and it is just a privilege to work with those guys every day."

 

PLAYMAKERS AT RECEIVER

The Bulldogs also have experience at receiver, where CJ Romero, Mason Perkins, and Charles Robinson have all seen significant action over the last two seasons. Robinson and Perkins both missed time with injuries in 2018. Robinson was hurt in the season finale and is hopeful of a return to action early in the 2019 season. "CJ and Mason Perkins will be big for us at the start. Joseph Moreno has had a great fall. Hunter Jaehne and Caleb Cervenka, a freshman, are in the mix. Mason and CJ have so much experience. They are battle-tested. They are going to make catches. The common thread with all of those guys is that it doesn't matter if they are in the open field or if they are on a crossing route, they will make the catch. They are talented route runners, and they all have great hands. They will do a lot of great things for us. Charles is a dynamic receiver that really had an outstanding season for us a year ago as our leading receiver.

 

LOADS OF RETURNERS ON DEFENSE

"Brandon Bennett is now at the nose," said Gustafson. "He played a lot last year at the four technique, and Jackson (Worley) is now there. With Manny (Longoria), all three of those guys are outstanding. Two of them are tall. The other one, Manny, plays like he is because he is so quick. They cover a lot of area. They play really hard. Manny does it all. He has improved himself every year. He is stronger than he has ever been. He is a technician. He understands that he may not be as big as someone else, but he finds a way. Every day in practice he humbles us. He is always going a million miles an hour. He really sets a tone. Not just for the defensive line, but for our defense."

 

IMPACT PLAYERS AT LINEBACKER

"We've moved DD (Adairius Norwood) inside, so he and DaKwa Davis will be the inside backers. When we recruited DD out of Waco, that is what he played in high school. He is such an explosive linebacker. Kwa Davis, it is hard to imagine that he has played already two seasons. Kwa obviously is very experienced in this system. Derek (Dunn) played a lot last year, and Keyshawn (Holman) also very experienced on the outside. We feel very good about those second level players."

 

EXCELLING AT SAFETY

The secondary is led by preseason All-American James Bell, a redshirt junior, who will start for the third consecutive year. He is a two-time All-ASC performer and a two-time All-Region selection. "We will have Nile Pollard at strong safety, who essentially played the last couple of games full time last year because of injuries. And of course we have James (Bell) at free safety. James is just one of those young men that you want to have the privilege of coaching each year. But in reality there are just a handful that you will have in your career. Great teammate and great in the locker room, James really mentors our young guys He makes every body else around him better. He is the definition of team leader. Sometimes those team leaders they don't self-appoint themselves. James is very humble and sometimes almost shy, but when he puts on the football uniform he is such a tremendous leader because he does things that you would hope that everyone would do. He energizes me when he comes into my office. He just has that gift."

 

WARD, NAMBO RETURN AT CB

Senior cornerback Kedrick Ward and sophomore corner Julian Nambo each return after starting in 2018. Ward has started the last two seasons and has earned three varsity letters. Nambo played in five games in 2018. "I'm not going to speak for (Defensive Coordinator Ricky Matt), but when you call defenses, it is all kind of relegated on what the secondary can do. Can I put them  in man and put them on an island? I think those guys can be put there, and they will be challenged this week because the quarterback of Hendrix (Miles Thompson) is as good as there is in the country. Our guys are worthy of being asked to do whatever is being asked of them for us to win games."

 

NEWCOMER OF YEAR RETURNS

In 2018, then-freshman Juan Ocampo had a storybook year. He did not miss a kick all season - not an extra point, not a field goal. He was 8-for-8 on field goals and 45-for-45 on point-after attempts. For his success, Ocampo was named the ASC Newcomer of the Year and selected to the First Team All-ASC. "Juan is a year older, a year more mature, physically more mature," said Gustafson. "He has picked up right where he has left off. Because of the nature of what they do, kickers spend a lot of time isolated. They are counted on in the most critical times, but inclusion in practice is limited until it is time to do special teams. You give them a workout. There is no magic wand. The truth is that Juan is an outstanding kicker because he works at it hard every day. We had to learn to be careful of what we asked of him because he will do everything we ask of him and then some more. He is that dedicated. Our team loves him because they see what he is doing every day, all the time in practice."

 

PORTER READY TO PUNT AWAY

Another freshman that had immediate success in 2018 was punter Justice Porter. Porter already ranks second on the TLU DIII-era punting list with his career punting average of 38.9. He put 16 punts inside the opponents' 20, and he had eights punts longer than 50, with a long of 69. "Justice has done very well this fall," said Gustafson. "He is coming off an injury last year, but he has performed well in the preseason. We feel very confident about both punter and kicker. They are high-character young men that have college experience. The kicking game should be one of the strengths of our team."

 

BACKS ALSO FACTORS AT KR

Starting running backs Austin Mathews and Chris Monroe will factor into the kicking game, says Gustafson. Starting receiver CJ Romero, who had a 74-yard TD kickoff return against McMurry in 2017, also will see time on kickoff return duty. "They may not all be back there at the same time, but we also know the kicking game is a chance for an explosive play. We work hard at it every day. We will probably have one of those guys (Mathews and Monroe) back there.  They use their blocks. They see them, and they use them. These guys both have the ability to not just run but to find the blocks and use the blocks.

 

THOMPSON, VANHOOSE KEY

Hendrix quarterback Miles Thompson led all of NCAA Division III in total offense in 2017, but he had an injury-shortened season in 2018. Granted a medical redshirt, Thompson is back for his redshirt junior season. Through 19 games at Hendrix, he already ranks among the top 70 active leaders in total offense. He has thrown for 4,467 yards with a total offense number of 4,981. Per game, Thompson is averaging 262.2 yards of total offense per game. Last week Thompson threw the ball only 16 times, completing 11 for 101 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 28 yards on seven carries. "Hendrix is a very well-coached team," said Gustafson. "They play extremely hard, and they have an outstanding quarterback. People see his numbers, his passing numbers, but he is just as talented at running the football as he is throwing it. One of the best throwers in the country in my opinion. They also have a really good running back in Kip VanHoose." VanHoose rushed for 112 yards on 14 carries and scored twice in last week's win over Lyon.

 

WARRIORS POSE BIG CHALLENGE

Both games against Hendrix have been tight and decided in the fourth quarter, with each team winning on its home field. Gustafson expects another hotly contested ball game in Seguin. "They have a seasoned offensive line that compliments their quarterback and running back," said Gustafson. "They have a young secondary but athletic. We have had two games against Hendrix, and they both have been dogfights. We expect this time to be no different.