Lions dominate fourth quarter, fortifying win over Murray State


Samantha Sims

Terrell Carter makes tough contested catch over the Murray State defender to secure the Lions first touchdown of the fourth quarter.

Lions football continued their streak of home wins by defeating Murray State last night. The final score was 48 -14, with the Lions exploding for 28 points in the fourth quarter and securing their victory.  

Last night’s win moves the Lions’ record to 3-2 for the season. The fourth quarter secured the Lions’ win after the team only led 20-14 after three quarters of play. The team started the game on the front foot as sophomore wide receiver Gage Larvadain put the Lions on the scoreboard in the first quarter by receiving a pass from Cephus Johnson III and darting 37 yards to the house. This was the only score for either side in the first 15 minutes of action, denoting a slightly sluggish start for SLU.

Things picked up in the second quarter, however. A 15-yard TD run by Johnson put the Lions up 14-0, but the Racers answered with an eight-yard touchdown reception by Quindarrius Mayes from quarterback Jayden Stinson. Southeastern pushed its lead back up to two possessions as freshman placekicker Riley Callaghan capped a 13-play drive with a 35-yard field goal, sending the Lions into the half up 17-7.

The Lions ran into trouble throughout the first half after dealing with personal fouls, false starts and undisciplined penalties. The green and gold committed two personal fouls for 30 combined yards, aiding Murray State’s only scoring drive of the first half.   

Southeastern extended its lead with 7:01 left in the third quarter, courtesy of another Callaghan field goal, this time from 43 yards out. The Racers responded later in the quarter with the longest play from scrimmage given up by the Lions’ defense all season. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jayden Stinson hooked up with fellow sophomore wideout Taylor Shields for an 84-yard catch and run, making the score 20-14, SLU.

Senior wide receiver Terrell Carter caught an 18-yard touchdown from quarterback Eli Sawyer for the first score of the fourth quarter, putting the Lions up by two possessions once again. Senior running back tandem Jessie Britt and Taron Jones scored the Lions’ next three touchdowns all on the ground, and the home team pulled away for a resounding victory. The squad was able to score four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, cementing a Lions victory.

The rotation of quarterbacks Cephus Johnson III and Eli Sawyer is something that Lions fans can expect to continue to see in the future. 

“Cephus and Eli bring some unique talents,” said head coach Frank Scelfo. “We need to call the game to make sure both of those guys are doing what they’re capable of doing.” 

As Southland Conference Football starts back up next week, Southeastern is looking at things they can correct, such as the nine penalties committed on the night. 

One of the things that secured the Lions’ victory was their teamwork. “It’s just trusting each other and leaning on each other,” said Sawyer. 

When discussing his thoughts on last night’s win, Larvadain said, “In front of a home crowd, in front of our people, it feels good to do something for them. They come out and support us, so we award them with a win.” 

Next week is Homecoming Week for the Lions. SLU will face Texas A&M–Commerce Saturday at 4 p.m in Strawberry Stadium.