PINEVILLE, Louisiana — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets concluded a second consecutive one-win football season under head coach Braxton Harris with Saturday’s 45-13 loss to the American Southwest Conference rival Louisiana College Wildcats.
The Yellow Jackets finished with a 1-9 overall mark, 1-8 in conference play. After defeating McMurry 37-31 in double-overtime of the ASC opener, Howard Payne dropped its final eight conference games, including one-point losses to Belhaven, 20-19, and Sul Ross, 28-27.
Saturday against Louisiana College (5-5, 5-4), the Yellow Jackets surrendered 750 yards of total offense — 400 through the air and 350 on the ground — on 68 snaps, an average of 11 yards per play.
Wildcat quarterback Mason Jordan completed 20 of 28 passes for 375 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Drake Battaglia caught eight passes for 167 yards and both scores through the air, Leondra James added six grabs for 131 yards and Micah Dunn pulled down four receptions for 83 yards.
On the ground, Jaishaun Dockett amassed 78 yards, Battaglia rushed for 77 and a touchdown, James chipped in 64 yards and Melvin Young scored once and tackled on 51 yards.
HPU did force three turnovers, including a fumble recovery by Juan Luna and an interception by Dylan Zeno. Austin Killgore and Austin Lindsey finished with eight tackles each trailed by Connor Day with seven.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets produced 362 yards, including 298 through the air, but turned the ball over four times.
Gage McClanahan connected on 27 of 38 passes for 298 yards with one touchdown and two picks. DuyTayviun caught 13 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, Thomas Williams made four grabs for 80 yards, Jordan Bryant caught four passes covering 54 yards and Eric Haverstock reeled in three receptions for 40 yards.
Kaidrion Latson was the top ground gainer for the Yellow Jackets with 33 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Howard Payne fell into a 28-0 hole by halftime and scored all its points in the third period to close the deficit to 22 points at that point.
Latson scored on a 1-yard run at 11:15 of the third period, capping an eight-play, 71-yard drive for Howard Payne’s first score. The extra point attempt was blocked.
The Yellow Jackets’ final points of the season came with 55 seconds left in the third period on a 6-yard scoring toss from McClanahan to Gross, followed by Cristian Gonzales’ extra point. The scoring drive, which cut Louisiana College’s lead to 35-13, covered 66 yards in seven plays.
Howard Payne has not finished at .500 or better since 2006 and owns a 22-98 record during that 12-season span, including a 3-37 mark over the last four years.