Southland.org No. 9/10 Sam Houston State scored early and often as the Bearkats rolled up 549 yards total offense in a 50-6 non-conference win over Texas Southern Thursday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Quarterback Brian Bell passed for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring plays to Chance Nelson. The transfer from Texas A&M caught three passes for 127 yards.
The Bearkat defense limited the Tigers to 149 yards of total offense. Linebacker Darius Taylor totaled eight tackles including two quarterback sacks.
The Bearkats took only 50 seconds to score their first points of the game. Bell found Chance Nelson open behind the Tiger secondary for a 61-yard scoring pass three minutes into the contest.
Dax Swanson’s 12th career interception set up the Bearkats’ second score. Trey Diller scored on a 32-yard run after an option pitch by Bell to complete a six play 54-yard drive and put Sam Houston up 14-0 with 5:18 to go.
Swanson needs one more interception to tie the Sam Houston career interception mark of 13 set by Ronnie Choate in 1955 through 1959.
An interception return by Steven White to the Sam Houston 14 set up a 16-yard scoring pass from Justice Jones to James Davis to put the Tigers on the scoreboard with 12:11 to go in the second quarter.
Preston Sanders blocked the extra point and Kenneth Jenkins picked up the ball at the 20 and ran it back for a defensive PAT return. The two points marked the third defensive PAT return by a Bearkat player in school history.
Sam Houston upped the lead to 23-6 with 10:16 to play before half as Bell ended a 65-yard scoring drive with a 22-yard pass to Stephen Williams.
Miguel Antonio added a 19-yard field goal and Bell hit Nelson for a 32-yard pass to make the score at intermission 33-6.
Keshawn Hill scored on a 36-yard run to lift the Bearkats to a 40-6 lead with 3:43 left in the third quarter after a 57-yard lead. An 18-yard punt return by Trey Diller set up a four-yard touchdown run by Ridgeway Frank. Antonio added a 39-yard field goal with 6:35 to go.
The Bearkats return to Houston Oct. 6 for the annual Battle of the Piney Woods against Stephen F. Austin at Reliant Stadium.