ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ football team moved to 3-0 and clinched the right to host the American Southwest Conference Championship with a 41-14 win over Howard Payne on Saturday at Shelton Stadium.
The Cowboys rolled up 601 yards of offense in the contest. Kyle Jones completed 21-of-33 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns and he ran for another touchdown. Marc Reed had 114 yards on 16 carries and scored for the Cowboys.
HSU churned out 324 yards rushing in the contest. Kolby Youngblood added 87 yards rushing and a touchdown and Myles Featherston ran for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Mitchell had his best day as a Cowboy with 13 tackles and Dedrick Strambler added 12 stops. Khristion Little had 2.5 sacks on the day and Caleb Bell added 1.5 sacks.
The Cowboy defense held the Yellowjackets to 287 yards, as HPU came into the game as the top offense in the league.
Brooks Barker boomed an 88-yard punt for the Cowboys to set a new school record.
HSU opened the scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Jalen Crawford. It was the sixth straight game with a touchdown catch for Crawford.
Jones hit Rae Millsap on a deep post pass from 41 yards on the next possession for a 14-0 Cowboy lead. The Cowboys made it 27-0 on touchdown runs by Jones from four yards out Narc Reed from 16 yards.
Howard Payne scored on a Billy Reagins run with 1:57 to play in the first half making the score 27-7.
Featherston scored on a 17-yard run for the Cowboys in the third quarter and HPU answered with a Landon McKinney 5-yard touchdown run to make it 34-14.
Youngblood broke three tackles en route to a 51-yard touchdown run with 1:33 to play in the third quarter.
HSU will travel to Alpine to play Sul Ross State at 1 p.m. next Saturday.
The Cowboys will host the ASC Championship game March 27 against the winner of the Mary Hardin-Baylor-Louisiana College game that will be played next week.