Last Week in Sports: Oct. 26-Nov. 1 – Southeastern escapes McNeese with narrow victory on the road


Troy Allen

Junior outside hitter Kailin Newsome gets ready to serve during a set of SLU’s 3-0 win over UNO on Thursday night at the University Center. (Oct. 27, 2022)

SLU football topped McNeese on the gridiron Saturday 28-27 in Lake Charles. 

Since 2019, the Lions are 4-1 vs. the Cowboys, with all five contests being decided by one possession. In fact, neither team has won over the other by more than five points during this span. (The two schools played twice last season.)

Despite being 1-6 overall and having a winless conference record, McNeese gave the Green and Gold all they could handle.

Following a Southeastern three and out on the opening possession of the ball game, McNeese went on a 12 play, 74-yard march capped off by senior running back Deonta McMahon’s five-yard rushing touchdown. 

The drive ate up 5:37 of clock, but a fumbled snap on the extra point kept the scoreboard at 6-0. 

SLU responded with a 15 play 74-yard drive, which lasted 8:21. Senior signal caller Cephus Johnson III found senior wideout CJ Turner for a 33-yard scoring strike on fourth and 13 to put the Lions up 7-6 after the first quarter (Riley Callaghan PAT).

Johnson stepped up in the pocket and delivered a dime to Turner, who made the over the shoulder catch in the end zone after beating his man at the line of scrimmage. 

The Green and Gold got the ball back after forcing a punt and went 84 yards on just six plays. Freshman wide receiver Maurice Massey used his big frame in the red zone to stiff arm a would-be tackler after making another miss en route to a 15-yard TD from Johnson, making it 14-6 Southeastern (Callaghan PAT). 

Freshman running back Rodeo Graham Jr. got the Lions in scoring position on the previous play via a 45-yard dash from a toss sweep.

McNeese answered through a methodical 75-yard drive which took a whopping 18 plays. The possession culminated with McMahon’s second touchdown of the game, this time a five-yard reception from Walker Wood on fourth and goal (Garrison Smith PAT).

Wood, a senior quarterback from Lexington, Ky., made his first start for the Cowboys on Saturday, drawing his side to within a point, 14-13, just before halftime. 

SLU tried to make something happen before the intermission, but it backfired as redshirt freshman QB Eli Sawyer tossed an INT. 

McNeese instantly capitalized on the game’s first turnover with a 42-yard touchdown scamper on a Wood QB draw (Smith PAT).

The Cowboys would take a 20-14 lead into the locker room. 

The teams traded interceptions to start the second half before Southeastern’s junior punter Austin Dunlap pinned his opponent deep at the one-yard line following a 58-yard boot. 

Despite being in the shadow of their own goalpost, McNeese was unfazed and went 99 yards on just five plays to push their advantage to 27-14 (Smith PAT).

The drive was highlighted by two chunk plays from redshirt freshman wide receiver Jon McCall. The New Orleans native hauled in receptions of 39 and 42 yards to set up McMahon for a three-yard scoring plunge and a hat-trick of touchdowns. 

With their backs against the wall on the road, SLU would go on a seven play 76-yard scoring drive concluded with Johnson’s 14-yard strike to sophomore tight end Ivan Drobocky (Callaghan PAT), making it 27-20.

Southeastern’s defense stood tall and forced a three and out after three consecutive negative plays for the McNeese offense. 

Lions offensive coordinator Greg Stevens then dialed up a trick play to provide his unit with a spark, as Drobocky rumbled 75 yards on a flea flicker down inside the McNeese 10. 

On a crucial fourth and goal from the one, senior running back Carlos Washington Jr. bulled his way into the end zone after receiving the direct snap to knot the game at 27 all.

Callaghan’s extra point was true and the Green and Gold went back on top 28-27. 

The Cowboys last ditch efforts were dashed by the Lion’s as sophomore linebacker Donte’ Daniels intercepted Wood’s pass around McNeese’s 45 yard line to seal the hard fought victory. 

Southeastern moves to 5-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. 

SLU will once again take to the road, this time to take on the Lamar Cardinals who just picked up their first win of the year vs. Nicholls four days ago. 

Kickoff is for this Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. on ESPN3. 

The Lady Lions soccer squad ended its regular season with a disappointing 3-0 loss at second place Northwestern State last Friday Oct. 28. 

After a scoreless stalemate in the first half, the Demons netted three times in the 48’, 86’ and 89’ to come out with the victory. 

Southeastern earned themselves fifth in the Southland Conference standings finishing 5-4-3 and 7-6-3 overall.

SLU faced off today against fourth seeded HCU at 1 p.m. in Natchitoches for the first round of action in the Southland Conference Tournament where the team lost 1-0 in an extra time heartbreaker. 

Houston Christian’s Alexa Heurta slotted home the game winning goal in the 104’ to effectively end the Lady Lion’s 2022 campaign.

Volleyball performed swimmingly in its three games this past week starting off by beating UNO 3-0 (25-19, 25-21 and 25-19) at the UC on Thursday, Oct. 27. 

The Lady Lions then took down Nicholls State 3-1 (25-14, 25-18, 21-25 and 25-22) in Thibodaux on Saturday, Oct. 29 before staging an epic comeback in Natchitoches vs. Northwestern State 3-2 (23-25, 17-25, 25-8, 25-19 and 15-12) just yesterday, Nov. 1. 

Junior outside hitter Kailin Newsome continues to tear it up on the court as she led the team in kills during all three matches. 

Newsome also paced the Lions in two other statistical categories vs. the Demons posting a gaudy stat line of 18 kills, 21 digs and two aces to boot. 

Southeastern now sits a game back from league leaders McNeese in the conference standings at 10-4 and an overall record of 20-6. 

Another road test at Lamar awaits tomorrow Nov. 3 in Texas. Opening serve is set for 6 p.m.