Southeastern pulls away from UIW to secure third straight win
HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team pulled away late for a 49-30 victory over Incarnate Word in Southland Conference play Saturday afternoon at Strawberry Stadium.
With kickoff pushed up to 10 a.m., the Lions (3-3, 3-1 Southland) took a little while to get in gear on the way to their third straight victory. However, SLU would finish with 564 yards of total offense and posted 49 points for the third consecutive game on the way to keeping the visiting Cardinals (0-5, 0-3 Southland) winless.
“This was a good win for us, but we struggled to play consistently in the first half,” Roberts said. “I thought we responded well in the second half and were able to make some big plays. We made some mistakes that we need to learn from, but a win is always a good thing.”
Southeastern’s current stretch of productivity marks just the fifth time in school history
the Lions have scored 40 points or more in three consecutive games. SLU last accomplished the feat in a stretch from October 26 – November 9, 2013.
Southeastern did its damage with a balanced attack, as freshman Marcus Cooper (13 carries, 148 yards) and junior Darren Johnson (13-130-1 TD) both topped 100 yards rushing to pace a Lion ground attack that finished with 353 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Nunez threw for 159 yards on 7-of-15 passing and connected with freshman Austin Mitchell on three touchdowns. Mitchell, who led SLU with four catches for 143 yards, is the first Lion to catch three touchdowns in a game since Simmie Yarborough accomplished the feat in a 49-28 win over then-league foe Texas State on Oct. 9, 2010.
Freshman quarterback Byron Walker came in and threw two touchdowns in relief of Nunez. The Sulphur, Louisiana native connected on scoring tosses with sophomores Bransen Schwebel and Juwan Petit-Frere.
Southeastern limited UIW to 254 total yards for the contest. Seniors Max Lyons and Torrance Mosley each intercepted passes for the Lions.
Senior Jeff Williams II led SLU with 11 tackles. Senior Sione Teuhema was credited with a team-high three tackles for loss and two sacks. Junior Sean Clavelle, sophomore Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund and freshman Dejion Lynch were also credited with sacks for the Lions.
The two teams traded empty possessions to open the game before UIW took the lead midway through the first quarter. A 43-yard kick by freshman Jose Perez put the Cardinals ahead, 3-0, with 4:55 remaining in the opening period.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Petit-Frere took back the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown – the second longest kickoff return in school history. Petit-Frere, who is averaging 39.6 yards per kickoff return in his debut season, is the third Lion in school history with multiple kickoff return touchdowns in a season, joining Xavier Roberson (2 – 2012, 3 – 2013) and Keylam Davis (2 – 2003).
The Orlando, Florida native’s return gave Southeastern a 7-3 lead with 4:41 left in the first quarter. On the next UIW possession, the Cardinals drove into Southeastern territory, but Lyons ended the threat by making a juggling interception at the line of scrimmage on an attempted screen pass.
The Lions would maintain the lead into the second quarter, when UIW graduate running back Derrick Mitchell blocked a punt by SLU sophomore Ivy Wall to give the Cardinals the ball at the Lion 29-yard line. The defense stiffened and held UIW to a 42-yard Perez field goal to allow the Cardinals to cut the lead to 7-6 with 10:41 left in the opening half.
SLU was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, but Mosley picked off UIW sophomore quarterback Sean Brophy to give the Lions the ball right back. The Lions responded with a quick five-play, 53-yard scoring march that Johnson capped with a 31-yard touchdown run that gave SLU a 14-6 lead with 7:19 left in the first half.
UIW answered quickly, as sophomore Desmond Hite took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to cut the SLU lead to 14-13 with 7:01 remaining in the second quarter.
The back-and-forth game continued on Southeastern’s next drive. A 27-yard run by Cooper highlighted a four-play, 72-yard drive. Nunez found Mitchell open from 26 yards out to give SLU a 21-13 advantage with 5:08 left in the opening half.
UIW answered with an effective nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive to pull closer once again. Brophy found junior Phillip Baptiste for a 44-yard strike to pull the Cardinals within one at 21-20 with 1:03 left in a wild second quarter.
If the Cardinals though the hosts were going to be content with going into the locker room with a one-point lead, they were mistaken. Two plays into the next drive, Mitchell ran under a 70-yard touchdown pass from Nunez to give SLU a 28-20 lead going into the break.
A 48-yard field goal by Perez was the only score of the third quarter, pulling the Cardinals within, 28-23, heading into the game’s final 15 minutes.
Southeastern finally found pay dirt early in the final period. A 38-yard run by Johnson set up a 34-yard scoring pass from Nunez to Mitchell. The Plaquemine, Louisiana native’s third score of the game gave the Lions a 35-23 advantage with 9:30 left in the contest.
After UIW went three-and-out on its next possession, SLU ended any chance of a Cardinal comeback. A 64-yard gallop by Cooper set up a five-yard scoring pass from Walker to Schwebel that gave the Lions a 42-23 lead with 6:50 left in the contest.
UIW answered with its last score of the game. The Cardinals drove 77 yards on seven plays and Derrick Mitchell powered in from a yard out to cut the Lion lead to 42-30 with 4:10 left.
Southeastern wasted little time closing out the scoring. After junior Julius Maracalin jumped on the Cardinals’ onside kick attempt, Walker needed just two plays to give SLU another score. Walker found Petit-Frere open for a 34-yard touchdown to provide the final 49-30 margin.
The Lions will head to Houston Baptist for a 6 p.m. contest. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and can also be heard on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU 90.9 FM, Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM, WFPR 1400 AM), online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the TuneIn Radio app.
The Lion Athletics Association will host a bus trip to HBU. The bus will leave from the Dugas Center for Southeastern Athletics at 10 a.m. on game day and will return immediately following the 6 p.m. contest between the Lions and the Huskies.
The cost to be included on the trip is $50.00. Included in the cost is a ticket to the game, a light lunch with drinks on the way to the game. For more information or to purchase a spot on the trip, contact the LAA at (985) 549-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested parties can also visit the LAA office located in West Strawberry Stadium.
UIW – 3 17 3 7 – 30 (0-5, 0-3 SLC)
SLU – 7 21 0 21 – 49 (3-3, 3-1 SLC)
UIW – Perez 43 FG, 4:55
SLU – Petit-Frere 99 kickoff return (Burkhard kick), 4:41
UIW – Perez 42 FG, 10:41
SLU – Johnson 31 run (Burkhard kick), 7:19
UIW – Hite 100 kickoff return (Perez kick), 7:01
SLU – Mitchell 26 pass from Nunez (Burkhard kick), 5:08
UIW – Baptiste 44 pass from Brophy (Perez kick), 1:03
SLU – Mitchell 70 pass from Nunez (Burkhard kick), 0:49
UIW – Perez 48 FG, 10:30
SLU – Mitchell 34 pass from Nunez (Burkhard kick), 9:30
SLU – Schwebel 5 pass from Walker (Burkhard kick), 6:50
UIW – Mitchell 1 run (Perez kick), 4:10
SLU – Petit-Frere 34 pass from Walker (Burkhard kick), 3:42
RUSHING: UIW – Dickens 11-71, Mitchell 15-28, Brophy 5-(-25). Totals 31-74. SLU – Cooper 13-148, Johnson 13-130, Maracalin 8-23, Walker 3-23, Durall 1-13, Mitchell 1-8, Nunez 7-5, Petit-Frere 1-2. Totals 47-353.
PASSING: UIW – Brophy 22-39-2-180-1. Totals 22-39-2-180-1. SLU – Nunez 7-15-0-159-3, Walker 3-3-0-52-2. Totals 10-18-0-211-5.
RECEIVING: UIW – Gilbert 5-44, Hite 4-13, Baptiste 3-58, Mitchell 3-17, Harris 2-15, Dickens 2-1, Andre 1-21, Brooks 1-7, Johnson 1-4. Totals 22-180. SLU – Mitchell 4-143, Tolbert 2-1, Petit-Frere 1-34, Maracalin 1-18, Dickey 1-10, Schwebel 1-5. Totals – 10-211.
A – 4,156.
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