Stellar football season comes to an emotional close

The Lions closed out their 2013 season with a nail biter against the New Hampshire Wildcats, ultimately allowing defeat on their home turf during the NCAA Division I Quarterfinals match. The 20-17 loss was bittersweet for Head Coach Ron Roberts and his team, considering all their hard work over the past four months. Southeastern was 1-6 in Southland Conference play in 2011 with an overall record of 3-8. Roberts’ transfer in 2012 raised the team’s record to 5-3, 5-2 in SLC and now the Lions (11-3, 7-0 SLC) are Southland Conference Champions. This amazing feat helped soften the blow of the loss Saturday night. There are only good things to come for Lion football.
“It was a heck of a ball game,” said Roberts. “It came down to the wire. I thought it was a heck of a defensive ball game most of the time. I thought we had opportunities, misfired a lot. A lot of dropped balls, things like that probably slowed us down offensively.”
The first five minutes of the ball game the Lions were on fire with quarterback Bryan Bennett completing a touchdown after 14 plays and 81 yards. The passing was much more together than any of their other games; unfortunately Bennett could not hold onto the magic. The Wildcats soon reciprocated with their quarterback Sean Goldrich rushing 32 yards for the touchdown to tie the game with six minutes left in the first. The Lions regained the lead for a fleeing moment in fourth quarter when Bennett threw a touchdown to Marquis Fruge‘ after he broke tackler after tackler to find an open man, bringing the score to 17-14. Roberts knew going into this game Goldrich would be running the ball in a similar fashion to their offense, but they still came up short.
“We thought we had a good plan for it, but he’s just a good player,” said Roberts.
Goldrich mentally prepared for playing in Hammond by working on composure, as a team and an individual.
“We knew we were coming into unfamiliar territory for us,” said Goldrich. “We didn’t expect it to be a blowout by any means. We just tried to stay the course.”
Overall, Bennett was 25-46-1 with 269 passing yards and one touchdown. Lion linebacker Cqulin Hubert recorded 13 total tackles and finished his senior season strong, now a Southeastern graduate.
“It’s been a great season,” Hubert said. “It’s been a blessing just being able to be in the quarterfinals. I’m thankful for these boys. It’s a blessing.”
A thrilling season for the Lion football program is for sure to bring some exposure for the school and the team. Roberts and his staff will soon start recruiting for the 2014 season and plan to bring new talent to Hammond.
“We’re on the road to doing some special things,” Roberts said. “I think this whole season is just a launching pad for what’s to come for Lion football.”