NEWBURG, Oregon — Opening the regular season out of state for the first time in 15 years, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets suffered a 35-3 loss to the George Fox Bruins Saturday afternoon.
HPU began the 2003 campaign with a 42-0 loss at Wisconsin-LaCrosse, but went on to post a 6-4 record. Yellow Jackets second-year head coach Braxton Harris would love nothing more than to mirror that year as Howard Payne pursues its first winning season since 2005.
George Fox (1-1), playing its second game following a 20-12 loss to Redlands a week ago, generated 372 yards of total offense — 209 rushing and 163 passing — while limiting Howard Payne (0-1) to 134 yards — 107 through the air and 27 on the ground — while creating four turnovers.
The Yellow Jackets surrendered a touchdown the first period and two more in the second as George Fox opened a 21-0 halftime lead. The Bruins tacked on two additional touchdowns in the third period, and Howard Payne prevented a shutout with 54 seconds remaining as a three-play, 4-yard possession ended with a 45-yard field goal by freshman kicker Cristian Gonzalez.
Junior quarterback Gage McClanahan, making his HPU debut, completed 15 of 26 passes for 107 yards with four interceptions and one sack. DunTay Gross caught a team-high five passes for 44 yards while Jordan Bryant grabbed four receptions covering 24 yards. Also hauling in receptions were Thomas Williams (25 yards), Brett Martinez (7 yards), Eric Haverstock (6 yards), Tariq Gray (1 yard), Benjamin Greene, and Kaidiron Latson (-1 yard).
Martinez led the HPU rushing attack with just 16 yards trailed by Stephen Willis with 10, Latson with 5 and Greene with 2.
Defensively for the Yellow Jackets, Britt Boler recorded 11 tackles with one for loss, Austin Kilgore added 10, Anthony Lindsey notched eight with a sack, Brady Wade also tallied eight takedowns and Collin Wright finished with seven.
George Fox opened the scoring with 5:38 left in the first period as Anthony Garcia — who rushed for a game-high 71 yards on 14 carries — capped a five-play, 37-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
The Bruins increased their lead to 14-0 at the 9:32 mark of the second period when Kenny May hauled in a 74-yard scoring toss from Jaden Sheffey, his lone completion in two pass attempts. May finished with two grabs covering 91 yards.
George Fox added a third touchdown before halftime just 2:13 later as Wesley Riddell’s 2-yard run capped a four-play, 30-yard trek. Riddell finished with 57 rushing yards on 10 carries.
In the second half, the Bruins started the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Josh Kibbey to James Nguyen, which increased the lead to 28-0 at 5:02 of the third period. Kibby completed 8 of 15 passes for 83 yards, while Nguyen caught four passes totaling 17 yards.
A mere 19 seconds later, Rudy Hughes returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown, as George Fox tallied its final points with 4:43 to go in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets begin American Southwest Conference action at 7 p.m. Saturday as they welcome McMurry to Gordon Wood Stadium in the home opener.