Lions finish another season strong

The Lion football team did not let fans down as they fought to gain the title Southland Conference Champions, and for the second year in a row, succeeded. They raised the bar in 2013, an accomplishment that proceeded many expectations, and reached it again, continuing to earn the admiration of fans and opponents alike.

They began their journey for this season facing off against the Dolphins of Jacksonville University in Strawberry Stadium. Within the first quarter they had the points stacked up against the Dolphins with a score of 27-0 and ended the game with a final score of 44-3. This gave fans hope for the season that would not be displaced later on. After that they faced off against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah and again reached a victory with a final score of 41-14. Within the first 15 seconds of the game, Southeastern scored due to an interception by senior linebacker Drew Misita after being placed into the position by Southeastern’s coaching staff. 

Bad weather also proved ineffective and did not disrupt the Lions from achieving goals they set for each game. In an explosive fourth quarter, senior quarterback Bryan Bennett was accounted for two Southeastern touchdowns with one thrown through the air to Christopher Malott and another to freshman running-back Eugene Bethea.

After two spectacular wins, the Lions suffered a minor setback when they faced off against the Tulane Green Wave and then the Redhawks at Southeast Missouri State. But, with renewed vigor, the Lions slayed their next opponents, Incarnate Word, in a Southland Conference game with a staggering final score of 63-7. 

For this game, the team traveled to San Antonio, Texas and increased the school record for rushing yards to 334 in a single game.

For the second time in a single season, the Lions surpassed the school record for rushing yards rushing 484 yards, almost 150 more yards than the previous record.

The Lions continued to win until they faced Stephen F. Austin, and lost their first conference game of the season with a final score of 17-27. This was a hard loss for the Lions; star quarterback Bennett was out for the first half of the game, resting a sore shoulder. Receiving no points, and only accomplishing a total of 55 yards in the first half, the score was set 17-0, and after the second half was ended, the Lions offense would only increase the final score to 27-17.

In the next game, the Lions gave supporters a reason to cheer when they renewed fans’ hope and team pride after, not only returning and slaughtering the Houston Baptist Huskies, but because they broke school records again, placing this game’s players into the Southeastern Hall of Fame. They started the game off powerfully, drilling the Huskies into the field, making repetitive touchdowns and never ceasing with their defenses’ ability to hold the line. Bennett was taken out early on due to an injury and replaced by senior Jordan Barnett. Barnett capped off Bennett’s 126 yards with his own 233, with three touch downs. Sophomore D’Shaie Landor also threw 85 yards. The trio produced a total of 444 yards, a new season high.

Bethea performed a career high of 125 yards while junior running back Kody Sutton was credited with a career high of three touchdowns and 109 yards. Rasheed Harrell rushed for 44 yards, and Landor added 71 yards. Combined, there was a total of 362 yards for the rushing attack. 

In a single game, the team broke and reset the school record with a total of 806 yards; beating the university’s record, the Lion’s ended the game with a final score of 76-7.

The Lions continued their momentum and won the last two games against McNeese, and Nicholls State, earning themselves the title 2014 Southland Conference Champions.

The Lions then continued to the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, where they faced their first competitors, Sam Houston State University, and lost 17-21, returning home and putting an official end to their 2014 season.