Frogs leap Lions in FBS-FCS contest

Lion football went on the road last week to play Texas Christian University, the No. 24 ranked BCS team, for the first time in each school’s history. Ultimately, the Lions (1-1) gained the season’s first loss of 38-17, but head coach Ron Roberts and his team did not leave without putting up a fight. Southeastern football has officially been placed on the map as a team to watch. Despite three injuries, three turnovers and many incomplete passes thrown by quarterback Bryan Bennett, the Lions left the field feeling accomplished and knowing they put in a good effort.
“We had a huge opportunity to play a very good football team, and overall I’m pleased with our effort,” said Roberts.
The game started off strong as the Lion defense kept the TCU Horned Frogs (1-1) outside of the end zone almost the entire first quarter, until they scored near the two-minute mark. Defensively the Lions were represented well by sophomore defensive back Harlan Miller and junior linebacker Drew Misita. Miller counted eight tackles in the game and senior defensive back John Graves was credited with seven tackles.
Some of the many positives in Bennett’s play included leading the team with 18 carries, 132-yards rushing and one touchdown. The second quarter saw the most Lion action when Bennett ran a 45-yard carry from the 38-yard line, then sophomore running back Rasheed Harrell rushed for four yards. Bennett then rushed the ball for one more yard for the first touchdown of the game. The game was tied 7-7. Near the end of the second quarter Bennett completed a pass to sophomore wide receiver Jeff Simley who ran for 65 yards to the touchdown.  
TCU’s sophomore safety Chris Hackett intercepted one of Bennett’s passes in the third quarter. Just like in last week’s game against Southeast Missouri, Bennett rushed for over 100 yards making him the first Lion football player to reach that goal since 1977. Overall Bennett felt he and his teammates accomplished what they set out to do, which was to be recognized at a higher level of competition.
“I think it kind of gives us a little, not hope, but it shows us how good we could really be,” Bennett said in an interview with ESPN. “To be able to compete with a Top 25 team like TCU shows us that we were right there with them.”
Penalties and injuries plagued the Lions after halftime. Senior linebacker Cquiln Hubert was called for helmet coming off and participating in play, and not long after that was disqualified for unsportsman like conduct on the sidelines. Tyler Stoddard, DJ Williams and Rasheed Harrell were among the injured players. Now Roberts knows what work needs to be done in order to stand toe to toe with No. 6 FCS team South Dakota State on Sept. 14.   
“We were disappointed with the turnovers and big plays allowed, which we have to clean up moving forward,” Roberts said. “What I was the most impressed with is our team didn’t blink against a tradition-rich program and had the belief that we could come here and compete.”