SEGUIN — Hardin-Simmons picked up the 500th victory in his football program on Saturday but, more importantly, hoped his ninth victory of 2022 would be enough to get the Cowboys back into the NCAA Division III playoffs.
HSU took care of its end, beating Texas Lutheran 45-16 to end the regular season at 9-1.
The Bulldogs finished the year at 4-6.
The Cowboys’ lone loss was to No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor, who also finished 9-1 but won the American Southwest Conference title with an unbeaten streak in the league.
HSU in 2021 went 9-1, only losing to Cru, but was left out of the playoffs despite finishing in the top 10.
The No. 8 Cowboys were hoping to be named a playoff team when the NCAA announced its playoff field on Sunday.
∎ Go to reporternews.com to see if HSU made the D-III playoffs.
The Cowboys, who racked up nearly 600 yards on offense, trailed 6-3 in the first quarter before gradually taking control of the game.
Former Cooper running back Noah Garcia returned to the playing field and put HSU in place for good at 10-6 with a 15-yard run late in the first quarter. The Cowboys put together a 63-yard drive in three games after TLC took a 6-3 lead.
Hardin-Simmons led 24-13 at halftime when Texas Lutheran scored with 30 seconds left to cap a 10-play, 73-yard drive.
The Cowboys allowed just one field goal afterward and added to their lead in the second half.
Garcia also scored on a 48-yard run in the second quarter and Wylie senior Gatlin Martin caught a 28-yard TD pass from Gaylon Glynn during the quarter as HSU took a 24-6 lead before the Last minute TD from TLC.
Kolby Youngblood scored on a 2-yard run and caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback AJ Hawkins with 2:01 left for the final points. Hawkins also scored a 3-yard run.
Hardin-Simmons had 574 rushing yards and 27 first downs, and didn’t have to punt. The Cowboys rushed for 336 yards as Garcia rushed for 142. Eight other players had carries.
Glynn threw for 214 yards with one interception. Kevi Evans had six catches and Martin five.
Three defending Cowboys had six total tackles, including Abilene High senior Terrell Franklin. HSU held Texas Lutheran to 58 rushing yards, 42 by Jacob Forton.
Quarterback Seth Cosme threw for two touchdown passes and for 159 yards.
Hardin-Simmons 45, Texas Lutheran 16
UHS- Grayson Bearden 25 FG, 10:23
CCM− Cayleb Klostermann 1 pass by Seth Cosme (miss), 3:37
UHS- Noah Garcia 15 run (Bearden kick), 2:58
UHS- Garcia 48 run (Bearden kick), 4:48
TLC – Bryce Samuels 9 Cosme pass (Joanquin Rodriguez kick), 0::30
UHS- AJ Hawkins 3 run (Bearden kick), 7:52
CCM−Rodriguez 49 FG, 4:18
UHS- Colby Youngblood 2 run (Bearden kick), 1:03
UHS- Youngblood 24 Hawkins pass (Bearden kick), 2:01
PREVIOUS : HSU, Noah Garcia 11-142, Myles Featherston 11-66, AJ Hawkins 9-59, Gaylon Glynn 4-29, Kolby Youngblood 3-19, Gatlin Martin 1-10, Brad Nunez 1-5, Kevi Evans 1-5, Earnest Davila 1-2 TLC, Jacob Forton 11-42, DaKory Willis 9-19, Chas Patek 2-3, Seth Cosme 7-2, Blake Lowry 1-under 8.
WHO PASSED: HSU, Glynn 19-27-1-214, Hawkins 1-2-0-24 TLC, Cosmo 20-31-1-159, Lowry 0-1-0-0
RECEPTION : HSU, Evans 6-72, Maritn 5-63, Kai Brinkerhoff 4-36, Youngblood 1-24, Rae Milsap 1-6, KJ Peoples 1-16, Jalen Crawford 1-11, Featherston 1-0. TLC, Aaron Sotelo 6-44, Bryce Samuels 5-43, Cayleb Klostermann 4-39, Forton 4-29, Trent Stefka 1-4.
RECORDS: Hardin-Simmons 9-1, 7-1, Texas Lutheran 4-6, 3-6