Southeastern beats Villanova 45-44, advances to face University of Montana


Courtesy of Randy Bergeron

Senior defensive linemen Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund brings down Villanova running back during the first quarter of Saturday’s playoff game. With the victory the Lions will travel to Missoula, Mont. to take on the University of Montana.

The Lions advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs with a 45-44 win over Villanova University on Nov. 30.

The football team came back from a 31-14 deficit to win their first playoff game in over six seasons. Southeastern outgained the Wildcats 602 to 501 in total offensive yards in the victory.

Frank Scelfo, head coach, talked about the Lions’ offensive performance on Saturday night.

“Chason was slinging the ball tonight,” explained Scelfo. “He was reading all the coverages really well and brought his A-game tonight. Some guys have the capability to be ‘that dude,’ and tonight he was ‘that dude.’”

Scelfo discussed Villanova’s performance in the playoff game.

“They really stepped up tonight and fought really hard,” said Scelfo. “You have to give up to Coach Ferrante and his staff. They fought and played all 60 minutes tonight. They are a really great team and Coach Ferrante has really turned that football program around.”

Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, senior defensive lineman, shared what the coaches told the defense in the locker room at halftime.

“They told us to step up and play our game,” commented Adeyemi-Berglund. “Coach Guidry always preaches to us to have a shut-out third quarter and we did that to help the offense. Coach Guidry told us, ‘Win the small battles in order to win the wars,’ and we did that tonight.”

Adeyemi-Berglund explained what the defense did to stop Villanova’s fourth-quarter comeback.

“On the last play, we wanted to push their o-line hard to pressure their quarterback, and we did exactly that,” shared Adeyemi-Berglund.

Chason Virgil, senior quarterback, talked about what went through his mind on the Lions’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.

“Coach Scelfo signaled the play to us, and I went through all of my reads and progressions,” said Virgil. “A lot of people do not know this about that play, but CJ is the fourth read. So, I have to give it up to the offensive line for giving me enough time to go through every single read on that critical play.”

Villanova head coach, Mark Ferrante, commented on the game’s officiating.

“I think that call on the last drive was not necessary, especially with only two minutes left to play,” shared Ferrante. “I did not see the offensive-pass interference myself, but obviously they saw something I didn’t. Southeastern only had three penalties to our 11. I wish it would have been a little bit more balanced, but I can’t do anything about that.”

With the victory, the Lions will go on to play the University of Montana on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. with snow projected in the weather forecast.