Hilliard, Banks lead Tulane to rout of Tulsa
Senior running back Dontrell Hilliard scored a career-high four touchdowns as Tulane football scored fast and frequently on its way to a 62-28 rout of Tulsa Saturday in front of a crowd of 11,971 at Yulman Stadium.
The Green Wave (3-2, 1-1 American Athletic Conference | West) totaled 653 yards of offense on 83 plays, including 488 on the ground, led by Hilliard’s career-high 175 rushing yards. Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks was 9-for-13 passing for 165 yards and one touchdown, and ran 10 times for a career-high 93 yards and a score.
Tulane scored on its first seven drives, building a 48-7 lead by halftime. The Wave then tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half as 11 different players had a carry in the game. Sophomore running back Darius Bradwell ran 10 times for a career-high 71 yards and a touchdown, senior running back Sherman Badie ran 13 times for 68 yards and freshman running back Stephon Huderson rushed for 21 yards and his first career touchdown.
“We came out of the box and played extremely hard, well and smart,” said head coach Willie Fritz, who recorded his 200th career coaching victory Saturday. “We wanted to have the wind at the very beginning, and it worked out well – we got a three-and-out, had a short field for the offense and scored. The same thing happened on the next series, and besides that, we had one bust in coverage. We played extremely well defensively in the first half against a very potent offense. It was a good job in all three phases.”
Three plays into the game, Hilliard plunged in for a one-yard touchdown run, set up by a 50-yard sprint by Banks. On the next possession, Hilliard scored on a 23-yard run, and following a first career interception by freshman safety Chase Kuerschen, Banks found junior wide receiver Terren Encalade for a 62-yard strike to make the score 21-0 with 7:45 to play in the first quarter.
The Golden Hurricane (1-5, 0-2 American Athletic Conference | West) totaled 412 yards of offense, and was limited to 139 rushing yards by the Tulane defense. Tulsa entered the game averaging 295 yards per game on the ground.
Huderson began the second quarter with his first career touchdown, capping a 13-play, 64-yard drive to make the score 28-7. On the next Tulsa possession, senior defensive end Ade Aruna recovered a fumble at the Tulsa 23-yard line, setting up Bradwell’s eight-yard scamper three plays later to quickly extend the lead to 35-7.
Following a punt, Hilliard capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run up the middle to make it 42-7 with 5:43 left in the first half. With the second quarter winding down, Banks juked his way to a 13-yard scoring run on the 11th play of a 69-yard drive.