Lions gear up for game time

Last year was a historic year for the Southeastern football program. Ron Roberts, Bryan Bennett, Isiah Corbett and the rest of the Lions raised the bar to a level that many did not believe could be possible. The Lions start their journey this Saturday August 30 hoping to reach the FCS playoffs for the second year in a row. This will be no easy task, as they will be lining up against the Dolphins of Jacksonville University. 

Offense will be as stacked for the Lions. The green and gold totaled six offensive players on the first and second All-Southland Conference team. Headlining the first team selections are Bennett as quarterback, Rasheed Harrell as running back, Jonathan Braddock as offensive lineman and Xavier Roberson as an all-purpose player. 

Bennett is heading into his senior year, second with the Lions, and has set expectations for himself as high as any QB in Southeastern history.  He has gained recognition from multiple media outlets that believe Bennett’s name could be called next May in the NFL Draft.

“I just need to take care of my team and the things I can do to better myself,” said Bennett in an article on Bleacher Report. “I can’t worry about, ‘Oh, I need to do this to make it to the league.”’

Lining up under center for the Dolphins will be Kade Bell. The Fleming Island, Florida native racked up some impressive numbers of his own last season. He averaged over 300 yards of total offense per game. Bell will have a dangerous weapon at his disposal with Andrew Robustelli. The 6’3 senior was named an FCS All-American last season. 

Looking to stop Bell, Robustelli and the rest of the Dolphins is the stout defense of the Lions. Perhaps the strongest area of depth for Southeastern is the linebacker position. Both Corbett and Drew Misita of the Lions were selected as part of the first-team linebackers. The Lions had the top scoring defense in the conference last season.

Although the Dolphins do not have as many all-conference picks as Southeastern does, there are still players who could prove difficult for Bennett and the boys to get around. Maroa White, a defensive lineman for the Dolphins, led the school in sacks last year and is listed on the preseason all-conference team for the Pioneer Football League Conference. Leading the Dolphins’ tackles last year was Mike Klein, who was also named to the all-PFL team. The Lions must find a way to get past these two men if they want to put up the numbers they had last season. 

If the game gets too close, it could come down to the special teams play that determines the outcome. In that scenario, the Lions can be confident that their team will come out on top. Returning to Southeastern for his junior year is Roberson, the 2013 College Football Performance Awards FCS Kick Returner of the Year. Roberson is already on the watch list to win the same award again this year. 

Southeastern and Jacksonville University kick off this Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. All home games are free for students. To get more information on tickets and other Southeastern athletics, go to