LAKE CHARLES — Not much went right for Sam Houston in the first quarter at John J. Mims Stadium Friday night. LaGrange jumped to a seven-point lead, but senior wide receiver Tavyen Grice scored three touchdowns in the final 4 minutes of the second quarter to spark the Broncos to a 50-14 win.
“It is about knowing that we can,” Sam Houston head coach Chad Paulk said. “The message to the team today was that we are a good football team. We just have to know it when we get off the bus and not know it when the score starts to change. We have to start a lot faster.”
Grice scored on a run, reception and threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter. By halftime, he had 35 rushing yards and 86 receiving. He finished with eight carries for 42 yards and eight catches for 98 yards.
“Grice game out here on a mission,” Paulk said. “He is ready to play football and we put him in a lot of positions to make plays.
“We are very fortunate that he is the type of kid that can make those plays.”
With Sam Houston (2-0) clinging to a 22-14 lead, defensive lineman Jacob Humphrey recovered a fumble after a bad snap and Grice scored from 7 yards out with 4:10 left in the quarter.
After the Broncos forced the Gators to punt, Grice took a short pass from Bartley and sprinted down the field for a 42-yard score and a 36-14 lead.
Another bad snap and fumble recovered by Sam Houston linebacker Marrion Atkins gave Sam Houston the ball on the Gators’ 10-yard line. Bartley took the snap and turned to his right, intending lateral the ball to Grice, but it skipped off the ground. Grice grabbed the ball and hit a wide-open Luke Yuhasz with 2:24 left in the first half to put the Broncos up 43-14.Bartley also had a big night after throwing four touchdowns in the first half, two each to Yuhasz and Dominic Myers. Bartley had 209 yards by halftime and finished with 276 yards and five touchdowns while completing 19 of 32 passes. Yuhasz caught five passes for 85 yards and Myers had four for 40.
LaGrange had all the right stuff in the first quarter. The Gators defense forced Sam Houston to go three-and-out on its first possession and quarterback Quintoriuos Jones did the rest of the work. He hit Orlandezz Leday for a 30-yard completion then took it to the end zone from 38 yards out for an early 6-0 lead.
Sam Houston held the lead briefly after Myers’ 15-yard touchdown reception, but Malik Bertrand capped the Gators’ next drive with a 36-yard run untouched to the end zone for a 14-7 lead.
But everything started to unravel for the Gators (0-2) after that. Their next five drives ended in either a punt or fumble and the Gators were called for nine penalties for 100 yards in the first half. LaGrange gained 114 yards in the first quarter and scored twice, but was held to 65 yards the rest of the game.
Jones completed 6 of 17 passes for 121 yards and Bertrand finished with 52 yards on six carries. Leday caught four passes for 81 yards
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Sam Houston133070 — 50
LaGrange14000 — 14
LG: Quintorus Jones 38 run (kick failed)
SH: Dominic Myers 15 pass from Kyle Bartley (Davis Dow kick)
LG: Malik Bertrand 36 run (Jones run)
SH: Luke Yuhasz 9 pass from Bartley (kick failed)
SH: Myers 10 pass from Yuhasz (pass failed)
SH: FG Dow 22
SH: Tavyen Grice 7 run (Dow kick)
SH: Grice 42 pass from Bartley (Dow kick)
SH: Yuhasz 10 pass from Grice (Dow kick)
SH: Alyjah Mouton 30 pass from Bartley (Dow kick)
RUSHING — Sam Houston: Dylan Abshire 9-25, Kyle Bartley 1-7, Luke Yuhasz 3-11, Tavyen Grice 8-42, Isaiah Crosby 14-44. LaGrange: Chad Victorian 5-6, Quintorious Jones 6-23, Malik Bertrand 6-52..
PASSING — Sam Houston: Bartley 19-32-0—276, Grice 1-1-0—10. LaGrange — Jones 6-17-0—121.
RECEIVING — Sam Houston: Tavyen Grice 8-98, Luke Yuhasz 5-95, Alijah Mouton 2-43, Dominic Myers 4-40, Abshire 1-10. LaGrange: Orlandezz Leday 4-81, Bertrand 1-14, Jaden Johnson 1-26.