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Bulldogs force five more turnovers, cruise to 59-21 Alumni & Family Weekend win over LC

CJ Romero
(Photo by Dustin Wyatt)
CJ Romero (Photo by Dustin Wyatt)
SEGUIN, Texas -- The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs forced five more turnovers, showed no letdown after last week's road win over then-No. 6 Hardin-Simmons, and cruised Saturday to a 59-21 Alumni & Family Weekend victory over Louisiana College.
 
At Bulldog Stadium (Frank L. Dunne Field), TLU won its fourth straight game and moved to 4-0 in the American Southwest Conference. The Bulldogs are 4-1 overall.
 
LC dropped to 2-4 overall and to 2-3 in the ASC.
 
"I'd like to tell you that I didn't worry at all this week, but I would be fibbing," said Carl Gustafson, TLU's third-year head coach. "But these guys they came out and were really focused all week, not just today."
 
"We haven't achieved goals yet. We are taking these conference games one week at a time. This was another big win. We are going to enjoy this for a day, and then we got to get back to work."
 
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second quarter. TLU sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman (Richmond/Bush) threw three touchdown passes to CJ Romero (Odem/Odem) to start the Bulldog scoring attack.
 
The first Freeman-to-Romero connection covered five yards and completed a 12-play, 80-yard drive. The second TD pass went for 28 yards and capped a six-play, 61-yard drive. The third TD pass went for 26 yards and ended a 1-play drive that followed an LC fumble on a kickoff.
 
TLU collected another five turnovers from its opponent. The Bulldogs have now registered 16 take-aways in the last three games. The Bulldogs picked up six turnovers against Southwestern, five versus Hardin-Simmons, and now five more against the Wildcats.
 
Two of the Bulldogs' five take-aways came on Kedrick Ward (Missouri City/Elkins) interceptions. Ward made an over-the-shoulder interception in the endzone on the first LC drive of the game.
 
"Ked, we might have to put him at receiver," said Gustafson. "That one was really impressive. He played really well. Kedrick has played well all season."
 
"We knew that they throw the ball well, and they have some talented receivers. We'd like to take some of those plays back, but overall in general the effort was great." 
 
 
Ward and many of the Bulldog starters played just over one half or only a half against the Wildcats.
 
"Our goal all week was just to improve and get better for the next week," said Ward, a senior cornerback. "We know we had a big win last week, but we wanted to improve on that and find ways to get more stops and play better overall on defense."
 
Junior defensive end Jackson Worley (Keller/Timber Creek) tallied a forced fumble, two sacks, and three total tackles for loss.
 
Only playing a half, Freeman was 13-for-13 in the passing game for 173 yards and three scores. He also rushed six times for 72 yards and had an eight-yard TD run.
 
"(The offense) has a good thing going," said Gustafson. "Wade is just blossoming. He is a talent. He always has been, from the first day he walked on this campus. But now he has a grasp of the offense. He is very confident out on the field. And I tell you we have a full team that is very confident in him. They believe in him, and I think that shows."
 
Romero caught four passes and the three touchdowns in one half of action. He finished the day with 65 yards receiving.
 
 
"Every week, we've been telling Wade that we have four quarters, and that one play is not going to define the whole game," said Romero. "So just keep your head up, and I think the senior leadership us helping him when things go bad and just keep him humble. He's been pretty good."
 
The Bulldogs rushed for 373 yards and five scores. Austin Mathews (Houston/Clear Creek) led TLU with eight carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. Chris Monroe (College Station/College Station) added 68 yards on eight carries and a score
 
Ian Leslie (San Antonio/Reagan) and Donny Newsome (Pflugerville/Hendrickson) each had a touchdown run. Leslie scored on a 45-yard run just before the half.
 
TLU led 49-7 at the break.
 
The Bulldogs held LC to 24 net yards rushing. After falling behind early, the Wildcats went to the passing game almost exclusively. Sal Palermo threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
 
TLU hits the road for its next conference contest. The Bulldogs face Howard Payne in Brownwood next Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. TLU pre-game coverage on tlubulldogs.com and KWED 1580 AM will start at 12:30 p.m.