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Texas Lutheran rolls to 35-6 conference road win at Sul Ross State

Photo by Mark Mainez.
Photo by Mark Mainez.
ALPINE, Texas -- The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs rolled to a 35-6 victory Saturday night over Sul Ross State that moved the Bulldogs to 6-0 in the American Southwest Conference.
 
TLU (6-1 overall) won its sixth straight overall in 2019 and collected its sixth consecutive win over the Lobos, who dropped to 3-4 overall and to 3-3 in the ASC. The series between TLU and Sul Ross is now tied at 18-18. The Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 12 against Sul Ross.
 
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead by scoring 14 in the first quarter and 14 in the second.
 
TLU sophomore quarterback Wade Freeman threw first-quarter touchdown passes to Aaron Sotelo and Joseph Moreno and rushed for 16-yard score in the second quarter. The touchdowns for Sotelo and Moreno were their first touchdowns at the college level. Sotelo is a freshman tight end, and Moreno is a sophomore receiver.
 
Ian Leslie put TLU up by four touchdowns with a 1-yard run at the 8:37 mark of the second quarter. Leslie added another 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
 
The Bulldogs had scoring drives on its five touchdowns of seven plays for 60 yards, seven plays for 58 yards, seven plays for 66 yards, five plays for 41 yards, and 10 plays for 79 yards.
 
"The great thing about a long road trip is that you have a long time to get focused," said Carl Gustafson, TLU's head football coach. "Our guys were extremely focused. They wanted to redeem themselves a bit, and not just win but play well again."
 
TLU rushed for 285 yards on 49 carries and held Sul Ross to 14 yards rushing. The Bulldogs were 6-of-10 on third down and held the ball for 32 minutes, 19 seconds.
 
TLU had five backs with at least 30 yards. Christopher Monroe led TLU with nine rushes for 60 yards.
 
"Just the balance, and they compliment each other," Gustafson said of the running backs. "When you have that committee approach in the backfield you never know how those guys are going to treat it. I just love being around those running backs. They are just all about the team. They don't care how many carries. They just want to win games."
 
The Lobos 14 rushing yards came on 23 carries. TLU held the ASC's second-leading rusher Williton Grear to 23 yards on seven carries. Grear came into the game with 643 rushing yards.
 
"He is a great running back, and our guys swarmed the ball," said Gustafson. "When you are shedding blocks and pursuing like (our defense), that's pretty demoralizing for anybody trying to carry the ball against them. The defense played extremely well. I think we took a big step, a positive step, in our seventh ball game. We are going to enjoy this for a day and then get ready for the next one."
 
Sul Ross State was 3-for-11 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth down.
 
The Bulldogs return to Seguin for next Saturday's 1 p.m. kickoff against Belhaven (Miss.). Pregame coverage on tlubulldogs.com and KWED 1580 AM starts at 12:30 p.m.