Ouachita Baptist scored the go-ahead touchdown after a failed third-quarter fake punt attempt by East Central and held off the host Tigers late for a 24-17 win Saturday night at Norris Field.
East Central now starts its season off at 1-2 while OBU leaves down at 2-0.
Facing a fourth and seven on the OBU 40, punter Dylan Schul lost eight yards on the trick play, setting up the visiting Tigers on their own 48.
Running back Chris Rycraw got free for a 21-yard romp during the ensuing OBU drive. Two plays after a personal foul penalty on the ECU quarterback, the visitors scored on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Benson Jordan to receiver Drew White to snap a 10-all tie and give the visiting Tigers a 17-10 lead.
OBU followed that score with a back-breaking 19-play, 86-yard drive capped by a Rycraw 2-yard TD run that pushed the Ouachita Baptist lead to 24-10 with 8:24 left in the game.
ECU quarterback Spencer Bond connected with standout receiver George Robbins five times for 61 yards during an 85-yard scoring drive capped by a 10-yard quarterback keeper that got the home Tigers within 24-17 with 3:31 left. Robbins would finish with six catches for 82 yards.
But OBU wouldn't give the East Central offense another shot, running out the rest of the time with seven offensive plays. Jordan's 17-yard first-down pass to Drew White on a third-and-12 play sealed ECU's fate.
"They had a great game plan coming in. They milked the clock the whole game. They ran the ball effectively on first and second down, getting a manageable third down situation, and it hurt us," ECU head coach Tim McCarty said in a post-game interview. "It's always tough to lose one at home, especially when you come out and get a first-quarter lead and the game is in your control."