AVE MARIA, Fla. — The Ave Maria football team emerged victorious in their Mid-South Conference Sun Division opener on Saturday afternoon, defeating the visiting Edward Waters Tigers 48-35. The Gyrenes improve to 2-2 on the season and are 1-0 in MSC play. The game was the first on the new artificial turf field at Gyrene Field.
Ave Maria scored early and often in the blowout win and led 48-14 before three late fourth quarter touchdowns pulled EWC within 13.
Jordan Barrow had a school-record three interceptions on the day, the first of which he returned 19 yards for the game’s first score just 1:40 into the game. Mahlique Booth doubled the score with 6:55 to play in the opening quarter on a 14-yard TD run. After a Brandon Butry 33-yard field goal, Edward Waters scored on an 85-yard touchdown reception to make the score 17-7 after 15 minutes.
Brian Byrd was on the receiving end of Randy Schroeder’s first touchdown pass of the day, a 39-yard reception to make the score 24-7. The Gyrene advantage increased to 24 a few minutes later when Will Ulmer found pay-dirt on a 17-yard run.
AMU made it 21 unanswered point early in the third when Schroeder connected with Anthony Llosa for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
After a score by the Tigers, Butry connected on a 34-yard field goal and Will Tate ran in a 6-yard touchdown run to make the score 48-14 with 8:49 to play in the game.
Edward Water put together three straight one-play scoring drives in the final eight minutes, scoring on play of 64, 60, and 40 yards.
The Gyrene offense finished with 395 yards of total offense, narrowly edged by Edward Waters with 396 yards. Ave Maria used a balanced attack with 207 yards of offense through the air and 188 on the ground. The Blue and Green scored on all five appearances in the red zone.
Schroeder finished 10-of-15 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Booth led the rushing attack with nine carries for 52 yards and a score. Ulmer and Tate also ran the ball nine times and finished with a touchdown. They had 43 yards and 37 yards rushing, respectively. Joshua Steward also got time in the backfield with eight carries for 49 yards.
Llosa caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown while Byrd had the one catch for 39 yards and a touchdown. Traylyn Jackson and Drew Bonner each tallied two receptions. They finished with 50 yards and 28 yards receiving, respectively.
Defensively, AMU was led by Jordan Barrow who finished with three interceptions and a touchdown. Shamori St. Kitts finished with a team-high five tackles. Shar’Quez Hamilton had three tackles, all of which were for a loss. He had one sack.
Butry was 6-for-6 on point after attempts and connected on both his field goal tries. He made field goals from distances of 33 and 34 yards.
Ave Maria returns to action next weekend when they travel to Faulkner (Ala.) University. The game which was rescheduled from Oct. 21 as part of AMU’s reshuffling to make up games cancelled by Hurricane Irma will kick off at 4 p.m. in Montgomery, Ala.