Redhawks soar past Lions in dying seconds

Lions

The Lion’s Roar / Megan Ferrando
Sophomore Cole LeBlanc did his best Bryan Bennett impression when a trick play allowed him to complete his first attempted pass as a Lion. LeBlanc connected on a touchdown pass with Jeremy Meyers in the second quarter to put the Lions ahead 10-7.

Despite suffering a loss against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks in Houck Stadium, the Lions football team continues to forge ahead in Southland Conference.

In the beginning of the game neither team was able to gain the upperhand, each  only trading empty possessions in the first quarter. The Lions were able to break the mold and gain ground midway through after Lion quarterback Bryan Bennett sent Devante Scott a pass from 62 yards when he ran down the field directly into the end zone. Scott’s victory was immediately followed by Ryan Adams’ field goals from the 25-yard line. Southeastern continued to push into the Redhawks during their ensuing possession.  

Things did not favor the Lions upon Southeast Missouri senior linebacker Wisler Ymonice picked off Bennett at the 19-yard line and eliminated the scoring threat he posed. 

The next Lion turnover, Southeast Missouri was able to receive their first score. Southeast junior Kody Sutton suffered a fumble, resulting in the Redhawks obtaining the ball 25 yards into Lion territory.

Four plays following Sutton’s fumble, Redhawk player McFerren scored with 6:04 minutes left in the first half. This did not daunt the Lions, however, when returning their lead with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. This time, Adams was unable to kick a field goal.  Instead sophomore holder Cole LeBlanc sent senior Jeremy Meyers the ball, and he gave the Lions another touchdown with the time of 2:58 left in the first half.

In the half’s last play, Redhawk player Daku intercepted another Snyder pass, but the pickup was negated because of a Lion penalty which enabled Southeast Missouri kicker sophomore Ryan McCrum a 54-yard field goal.

The Redhawks carried their momentum into the second half of the game and took the lead in the third quarter’s opening drive and throughout the third quarter.

After a Southeastern punt, Southeast Missouri continued to drive the ball into Lion territory in the end of the third quarter. However the Lions prevailed thanks to Stoddard who ended another possible Redhawk scoring opportunity.

After a continued long fight, the Lions finally scored with an imminent time of 5:18 left in the game. Roberson executed a 36-yard run in a seven play, 90-yard march. Bennett then found Smiley four yards out after trying to obtain an extra point, but sophomore quarterback D’Shaie Landor was cut short on the two point try, this leaving the score 17-16.

The Lions refused to let up on their defense and obtained the ball from the offense again. 

Junior Rasheed Harrell broke free from the 19 yard screen pass on third and 15, where Bennett faked out the Redhawks and sped into the end zone from 22 yards out, giving Southeastern a 23-17 lead.

With only 2:53 minutes left into the game, it was thought to be a Lion win; however, the Redhawks refused to lose on their home turf, responding with a touchdown that spanned over the game’s final moments.

Saturday, the team will go to Incarnate Word for a Southland contest in San Antonio, Texas.      

“Conference is here now and the boys know they have to play the best football they can now” said head coach Ron Roberts, “There’s an urgency to play well now.”

Fans can listen to the game on KSLU-FM 90.9 FM, Kajun 107.9FM and The Highway 104.7 FM. The game will begin at 6:00 p.m.