By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The Sterns brothers and Houston Baptist University are going to be a problem for Division-I defenses.
Houston Baptist University wide receivers, Jerreth and Josh Sterns, have already proven to be quite the handful for the University of North Texas and Texas Tech secondaries.
The brothers most recently combined to make 17 catches for 339 yards and three touchdowns Saturday against Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock. Their yardage total amounted to 56.6% of the Huskies’ 600 total yards of offense, including almost 60% of the team’s passing offense.
In just his second NCAA Division I football game, Josh set the HBU single-game record for receiving yards with 209 on five catches. He also added two touchdowns, which comes one week after he recorded two grabs for 46 yards and a score in his collegiate debut.
Jerreth, a junior for the Huskies, hauled in a team-high 12 catches for 130 yards and a score against Tech. His performance comes one week after he pulled in 11 passes for 93 yards and added two rushes for 12 yards against the Mean Green.
Unfortunately, the Sterns brothers’ assault on DI secondaries will only continue for one more game this fall due to the Southland Conference suspending its football season until the spring.
Houston Baptist opened its three-game fall season with a 57-31 road loss against the University of North Texas on Saturday, Sept. 5.
SATURDAY WAS FOR THE STERNS
The Red Raiders opened as 41-point favorites over the visiting Huskies. Through a quarter and a half, that betting line looked to be in play too. Tech took a 21-3 lead following a 1-yard run by Tahj Brookw with 6:22 to play in the second quarter.
HBU quarter Bailey Zappe (30-49, 567yds, 4TDs) and the Huskies’ offense promptly took over the ball game roughly one minute later. Zappe found DJ Dormeus for a 65-yard score to cut the score to 21-10, which would carry into the halftime locker room. The passing touchdown, which was the first of four for Zappe, proved to be the final HBU passing score that was not tagged to one of the two Sterns brothers.
The Huskies came out of the break and added a 44-yard field goal by Gino Garcia to pull within a single possession, 21-13, with 8:25 showing on the third-quarter clock. From that point on, it was the Sterns’ show in Lubbock.
Josh, the true freshman, was the first to find the end zone. The 2020 Waxahachie graduate pulled in a 65-yard Zappe pass for a touchdown with 5:40 to play in the third. His grab, combined with the extra-point kick, pulled the Huskies within one, 21-20.
The Red Raiders then found the end zone twice to build a 35-20 lead as the game turned toward the fourth quarter.
But that’s when Zappe again hooked up with Josh — this time for a 75-yard pitch-and-catch — to cut into the Red Raider lead. The freshman’s second score pulled the Huskies within 35-27 with 11:19 remaining in regulation.
Five minutes later, the Huskies again found themselves with possession and an opportunity to upset their Big 12 foe. Zappe quickly connected with Josh for a 45-yard completion and eventually found Jerreth for an 8-yard touchdown. The score capped a 96-yard drive and cut the Tech lead to two, 35-33, with 3:36 to play. Unfortunately, the two-point passing attempt sailed on Zappe and ended the HBU upset bid.
The Sterns brothers and HBU will wrap up their shortened fall season against Louisiana Tech Saturday at 6 p.m. Saturday at Joe Attel Stadium in Ruston, Louisiana.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith