Coming home is sweet

Lion football continued their victory streak this Homecoming 2013 with a huge 56-34 win over the Lamar University Cardinals (3-5, 0-3). The student section was packed full as fans continued to flood into the stands well into the second quarter. With their support and the team’s well-executed plays, head coach Ron Roberts and his team are now 6-2 overall and 3-0 in Southland Conference play. This is the first time since 1983 that the Southeastern football team has had five straight wins.
The first quarter proved tough as junior quarterback Bryan Bennett threw consecutive incomplete passes, as well as an interception, taken by Cardinal James Washington. Soon enough, the Cardinals had two touchdowns and the score was 14-0 with 4:31 left on the clock.
“They did several things offensively that we had not done, so it took us a little bit of adjusting,” Roberts said of the Lamar’s offense.
Bennett knew after the first Cardinals touchdown, he and the team needed to respond more quickly, which is what ultimately happened at the end of the first quarter.
“When you see another team score, you’ve got to respond,” Bennett said. “That’s what we wanted to do, it didn’t happen. They scored again, going 14-0 on us, but we’ve been in these situations before, and as a team we’ve matured. We responded, we came back and had a great win tonight.”
It was sophomore running back Kody Sutton who put the first number on the scoreboard for the Lions with only one minute left in the first quarter. The Texarkana native gave the team their first touchdown after seven plays and 73 yards.
“I thought they came out and did really well,” said Roberts. “We stuttered a little bit early, but offensively we handled our business, we came out and got rolling.”
Into the second quarter, touchdowns began rolling in like marbles on tile floor. The Lions scored 42 unanswered points during the game. Sophomore running back Xavier Roberson scored three touchdowns, while sophomore wide receiver Jeff Smiley scored two, as did sophomore running back Rasheed Harrell. Senior wide receiver Marquis Fruge also put one on the board for the Lions in the third quarter. Junior running back Darius Guy scored the final touchdown of the game at the 0:52 mark during the fourth quarter. The Lions closed out a memorable game.
After a winning game, Bennett and his teammates have celebration on their minds. Celebrating can come in many forms and for the Lions it is watching the game tape while every play is still fresh in their mind. This way, they can get better by knowing what they did wrong and right.
   “Most of the time, we go home, go back to the house and start watching the film,” said Bennett. “You come out here, and you play, and you think back to those plays and you want to see it. So just to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the win.”
Last week the Lions defeated Northwestern State during their Homecoming game. The Demons lost their home field advantage. Whether or not Roberts and his staff would have to pull out all the stops for a win during their Homecoming was fact. Roberts knew he had to do whatever it took to protect their home field advantage.
“You’re going to get people’s best, and you know especially, as soon as you start to win, you’re going to get everybody’s best game every time,” said Roberts. “You’re now the hunted.”
Bennett was extremely pleased with his team’s effort and performance on the field, despite a slow start. Without them, being a part of this new Lion football era would not be possible.
“I’m happy to be a part of it,” Bennett said. “This new era that we have going here at Southeastern and I’m just real proud of everybody and the work they’ve put in [during] the off season and the efforts that they’ve put forth to get to where we’re at right now.”
Last season when the Lions played rivals McNeese State, they won by one point in a very close game so preparing will take hard work.
“We’ve got to come out and give it our best shot,” Bennett said. “3-0 vs. 3-0 in the conference, we’re ready to ride, and give it our all, and go down there and have some fun.”
The Lions travel to Lake Charles to play McNeese State, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasts on LionVision and KSLU 90.0 FM.