Historic Lion football games to re-air during Homecoming Week


File Photo

Head Coach Hal Mumme, above, celebrates with the team after the Lions defeated Arkansas-Monticello in their return to football on a rainy August night in 2003.

With the Lions football season rescheduled until the Spring semester due to COVID-19, this weekend’s Homecoming football game is being replaced with two historic, televised replays.

As a part of the Homecoming Week lineup, The Southeastern Channel will air the Lions vs. Arkansas-Monticello game from 2003 and Sam Houston State game from 2013. 

Both games have a significant place in the history of the university’s football program.

According to Larry Hymel, university alumnus, former sports information director and former director of the University Center, football was removed from the university’s agenda in 1985 because of the lack of financial support the team received. 

“At the time, the president, Dr. Larry Crain, mostly cited lack of financial support overall, and I guess you could say felt like it was a burden on the total school budget and felt like we could proceed without it, much to the dismay of many people,” explained Hymel. “Through the years, everybody still had hope, and eventually Dr. Sally Clausen was president, and she sort of got the ball rolling.”

After the push for a football comeback, it was finally reinstated in 2003. Fans filled up the stadium for the first time in 18 years to watch the Lions take on Arkansas-Monticello.

“Southeastern won 22-17, we scored on a touchdown with 6:49 left in the game, scored on the touchdown, 22-yard scoring pass that put us ahead 22-17, which was the final score,” described Hymel. “The game was delayed for about 24 minutes during the game because of lightning and rain in the area. It was an electric atmosphere, pretty close to a packed house – everybody just excited to have football back.”

The Southeastern vs. Arkansas-Monticello replay will be aired Friday, Oct. 23 at 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. 

After a successful season in 2013, the Lions defeated Sam Houston State at home in their first playoff game ever.

“That was our second year under Coach Ron Roberts, and it was a very successful year,” explained Hymel. “We had upset Sam Houston State during the regular season, and they were defending national runner-ups, and we beat them in the regular season, and then we came down to the playoffs, and we got a first-round by. A great season.”

The tension was high as Southeastern had to drive over 80 yards with only seconds left on the clock and a close score.

“We were down 29 to 24 with a little bit less than two minutes left, and we got the ball,” said Hymel. “Then, we drove downfield behind quarterback Bryan Bennett, and we scored a touchdown to go ahead 30 to 29 with about a minute left to go in the game, and we didn’t have any timeouts left. We had to go 85 yards in less than two minutes, and we scored and we won the game which qualified us for the next round.”

The Southeastern vs. Sam Houston State replay will be televised on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 8 a.m.

The games can be viewed via multiple streaming services. The Southeastern Channel can be accessed on Roku and Apple TV; on cable TV at Spectrum 199 in Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany, and St. Helena parishes; or online at thesoutheasternchannel.com (click on Live Webcast at the top) and mthermonwebTV.com.

Sophomore Jeff Smiley holds the ball high in the end zone as the Lions defeat Sam Houston in their first playoff appearance in 2013. Both games will be re-aired this week.