Lions shine in Houston rain storm

Lions Football

Senior linebacker Dereck Robinson makes a tackle during the Lions’ game against Stephen F. Austin. The Lion’s defense has been a bright spot for the team this season, totaling the second most sacks and third most interceptions in the Southland Conference.
The Lion’s Roar / Kelli Meynard

The Lions football team made a comeback after losing their Homecoming game by beating Houston Baptist University. 

The Lions (4-3, 3-2 Southland) traveled in constant rain to Houston, Texas to take on the Huskies (2-6, 0-5 Southland) in Husky Stadium this past Saturday. Despite the rain storm through almost the entire game, the Lions defeated the Huskies in a Southland Conference win 22-7. 

“We played in some bad weather; it was going to be difficult for either team to throw the football,” said Head Coach Ron Roberts. “We made sure to stop the run on defense and committed to running the ball on offense.”

In the pouring rain, senior running back Kody Sutton rushed a career-high of 156 yards adding to a team total of 288 yards. The defense held the Huskies to a total of 199 yards for the second consecutive season. In particular, sophomore running back Eugene Bethea and freshman running back Julius Maracalin were a big part of the Lions game.

Completing 12-of-19 passes for 167 yards was junior quarterback D’Shaie Landor; who also had one touchdown and an interception. Junior Da’Quan Smith had a touchdown while junior Brandon Acker led with three catches for 62 yards.

The Lions did not let Mother Nature bother them and had 24 first downs and a total of 455 offensive yards. Junior defensive end Miki Fangatua led the defense with a sack, two tackles for a loss, a safety scored and a team high of four tackles. Also sharing the team high of four tackles each was junior Kaelyn Henderson, junior Will Hines, senior Dereck Robinson and junior Tre’ Bennett.

The Lions were able to stop the Huskies on the opening drive to take it deep into HBU territory, but had to settle for a field goal. Keeping the Lions off the board was a missed 39-yard field goal by freshman kicker Jonathan Tatum.

In the first quarter, freshman Harrison Heim blocked a 50-yard punt at the one-yard line. Fangatua, in the end zone, tackled sophomore B.J. Kelly to give the Lions a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes remaining.

The first touchdown of the game came from Smith after 6 plays. Landor found Smith on a 10-yard slant giving the Lions a bigger lead of 9-0. This was Smith’s first career touchdown with the Lions. 

With a little over two minutes remaining in the first half, the Lions took possession of the ball at their 20-yard line. Landor had a 35-yard pass to senior Dylan Bossier and a 27-yard pass to Acker for 5 quick plays and an 80-yard scoring drive. To end the first half, senior Trey Hallman had a two-yard touchdown bringing the score to 16-0. 

In the fourth quarter, the Lions took over at the 34-yard line and Sutton ran for 50 yards on the opening play moving them into the red zone. After three plays, Maracalin ran for five yards for another touchdown. Tatum missed the field goal making the score 22-0. 

The Lions tried for a shutout, but could not make it happen when sophomore Terrance Peters ran down the sideline for 77 yards making the final score 22-7. 

“Our goal is to win out, finish 8-3 and get into post season play,” said Roberts. “At that point anything can happen.”

The Lions will travel to the University of Central Arkansas for a game on Halloween night at 7:00 p.m. in Conway, Arkansas. For more information, including a full schedule, visit

Football celebration

A coach celebrates with one of the Lions during a home game earlier this season. 

The Lion’s Roar / Heather Jewell