Air Force 41, Southern Utah 7

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Air Force quarterback Shea Smith ran for one touchdown and threw for another as the Falcons beat Southern Utah 41-7 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Smith, making his first career start, finished with 91 yards rushing and was 8-for-12 passing for 75 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons (1-0), who had 508 total yards, 433 on the ground.

Kyle Halderman had 87 yards rushing and Kyle Lumpkin had 77 for Air Force.

Southern Utah (0-1), from the Champion Subdivision, finished with 7 rushing yards and 130 yards of total offense. Wide receiver Tysson Poots had nine catches for 73 yards for the Thunderbirds, who lost their 19th straight game and haven't won since beating Texas State 30-21 on Sept. 23, 2006.

Smith scored the first touchdown of his career on a 1-yard run to give Air Force a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter, he got the first TD pass of his career on a 1-yard strike to tight end Keith Madsen to give the Falcons an 18-0 lead.

Ryan Harrison's 30-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter gave Air Force a 21-0 halftime lead.

The Falcons had 201 rushing yards in the first half. Southern Utah had 7 yards rushing at the break.

The Air Force defense even got into the scoring column, recording two safeties in the first half.

The first safety came after Southern Utah's goal-line stand on the Falcons' first drive of the game.

The Thunderbirds' celebration didn't last. On second-and-10 from the 1, linebacker Brandon Reeves tackled Kenny Apilli in the end zone to give Air Force a 2-0 lead with 8:08 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Trevor Ward's 45-yard punt to the Southern Utah 6 set up the second safety. On second-and-9, defensive end Jake Paulson sacked Cody Stone in the end zone to make it 11-0 with 12 minutes left.

The Falcons made it 28-0 early in the third quarter on Halderman's 48-yard touchdown run, and fumbles on Southern Utah's next two drives led to field goals of 42 yards and 32 yards by Harrison that made it 34-0.

The Thunderbirds scored on Cody Stone's 31-yard touchdown pass to Nick Miller with 5:01 left in the third quarter to cap an 80-yard drive. Southern Utah started the drive with 28 yards of total offense.

Stone finished 15-for-25 for 123 yards and a touchdown.

The Falcons answered with a 17-play, 96-yard drive capped by Jonathan Warzeka's 14-yard touchdown run that made it 41-7 with 6:29 left.

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