Shorter head coach Zach Morrison knew things were going to have to go the Hawks’ way in every facet of the game for them to escape with a win in their first game of the 2019 season.
In the end, there wasn’t enough that went right as Shorter lost to East Tennessee State on Saturday night, 48-10, in Johnson City, Tennessee.
The loss was the Hawks’ fifth in a row to a Division I opponent, as they have opened the previous four seasons with a contest against an FCSI school.
Shorter, an NCAA Division II school, was held to 62 yards rushing and 101 yards passing by the Buccaneers, who were playing in their home opener after losing to Appalachian State on the road last week.
Aeneas Dennis came off the bench and threw the Hawks’ lone touchdown, an 8-yarder to John Dietl III with 1:30 left in the game to set the final score. Dennis was 3-of-4 passing for 17 yards and ran for 48 yards. Starting quarterback Tyler Pullum was 13-of-20 for 84 yards. Neither through an interception.
The Buccaneers (1-1) built a 25-3 lead at halftime and extended the margin to 41-3 by the end of the third quarter.
Redshirt freshman Trey Mitchell threw two touchdowns and reserve Cameron Lewis threw a touchdown while the pair finished with a combined 243 yards passing. Jacob Saylors gained 90 yards on 12 carries and scored twice and East Tennessee State ran for 248 yards.
Shorter (0-1) got on the board as time expired in the first half when Nicholas Pope kicked a 36-yard field goal.
The Hawks will quickly jump into Gulf South Conference play Saturday as they host West Florida at Barron Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.