Pioneers focus on fundamentals before homecoming game - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Pioneers focus on fundamentals before homecoming game

Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

On the heels of a game that saw them commit six costly turnovers as well as a pair of special teams mistakes, the Wayland Baptist football team spent a bit more time on fundamentals in an effort to correct the mistakes prior to hosting Howard Payne in Saturday's homecoming game.

"We went back to fundamentals, looking at whatever created the turnover and fixing it," Wayland coach Butch Henderson said. "That might mean holding the ball high and tight and keeping both hands on it.

"We have to cut out the turnovers and get the kicking game back on track, especially the punting game."

Kickoff between the Pioneers (1-1) and Yellow Jackets (0-2) is 2 p.m. at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium.

First Baptist Church will host a tailgate party featuring free food and drinks, while it lasts, beginning around 12:30 p.m. in the home parking area of the stadium. Fans are invited to gather in the tailgate area to greet the Pioneers on their way to the field for warm-up at 12:45.

Fans also are invited to join a car caravan that will gather in the Laney Center parking lot on campus beginning at noon. Items to decorate vehicles will be provided at no cost. The caravan will move to the stadium at 12:20.

The homecoming game will feature several special halftime activities, including recognizing five WBU Athletics Hall of Honor inductees as well as crowning the homecoming queen. Also, a halftime kicking contest – sponsored by United Supermarkets – will offer one contestant a chance to win $500 in free groceries. Fans may sign up for free at the gate.

Tickets to the game are $10 for adults and $5 for students. All WBU employees (and their families) and students will be admitted free with proper ID.

While Wayland goes into Saturday's game stinging from a 48-27 home-opening loss to Sul Ross State, Howard Payne is reeling from back-to-back setbacks to Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Austin College. The Yellow Jackets fell to SAGU, 27-21, in Brownwood to open the season before falling in Sherman last week to Austin College, 19-17.

"They'll come here looking for a victory," Henderson said of Howard Payne.

The coach said the Yellow Jackets – like Sul Ross State last week an NCAA Division III team – were ahead of SAGU at halftime, 18-7, but let the Lions rally in the second half. SAGU was picked to finish third in the Central States Football League, just ahead of Wayland.

"Howard Payne has played well, especially defensively in order to keep them in both games," Henderson said. "Offensively they do some big things. They got on a roll against SAGU and almost pulled away from them."

Henderson called junoir quarterback Caisson Montieth (6-0, 195, Comanche, Texas) a "big playmaker" for the Yellow Jackets. In two games this season, Montieth has completed just over half of his passes (32-of-61) for 383 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions. Montieth also is HPU's leading rusher, averaging 54 yards a game and 3.8 yards a carry.

"He keeps a lot of drives a live with his feet," Henderson said. "Defenses can flush him out and if they don't get him down, he'll hurt you. They bootleg him some and give him a run-pass option. They good a pretty good mix of run and pass."

HPU's primary ball carrier is senior Justin Acosta (5-7, 225, Pasadena, Texas), who averages 47 yards a carry and 3.5 steps a touch. Henderson also mentioned a pair of veteran receivers in sophomore Derrick Williams (5-5, 135, Kennedale, Texas) and junior Adrian Finley (5-11, 180, San Antonio). Williams has eight catches for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns through two games, while Finley has seven grabs for 90 yards.

 "Both were good receivers for them a year ago," Henderson said.

On defense, the Yellow Jackets look to senior inside linebacker Jason Disney (6-0, 215, Austin), who with 26 tackles has almost twice as many stops as any of his teammates.

"He makes a lot of stuff happen," Henderson said. "The interesting thing about him is he's not only their leading tackler but also their field goal kicker."

Disney gets secondary support from sophomore JT Estes (5-7, 150, Whitney, Texas), who already has two interceptions this season.

Wayland and Howard Payne have met each year since the Pioneers restarted their football program in 2012, with each team winning twice. WBU claimed its first victory in the new era over Howard Payne, 27-23, then lost the next two (38-34 and 27-21) before winning last year in Brownwood, 44-34.

Henderson said fans should expect another close one.

"I look for it to be a good game," he said.

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