Victory over SFA leads to homecoming anticipation

The football team won their first road game of the season against Stephen F. Austin with a final score of 58-34.

Head Coach Ron Roberts is excited for the Lions’ improvement and cannot wait to keep moving forward this season.

“This team is just starting to get better,” said Roberts. “I am excited to see how good we can be.”

The touchdown returns, by junior defensive back Courtney Rutledge and redshirt freshman defensive back Jacorey Fuller, came through in the fourth quarter to help secure their win over SFA.

SFA came back from being down 20 points. By the start of the fourth quarter, the score was 37-34 with the Lions in the lead. The Lions continued to own their win over SFA with 21 unanswered points.

This is the highest amount of points the Lions have scored in a game since the season started. It is also the highest since Nov. 20, 2014 the Lions gained a 62-3 victory over Nicholls.

Roberts believes that there is always room for improvement moving forward.

“We need to protect the football and not turn it over, defensively we need to not give up the big play,” said Roberts.

Starting senior quarterback Justin Alo was knocked out of the game on a big hit before the fourth quarter. This did not keep the Lions from finishing strong and earning 14 more points before the end of the game.

Roberts named three players in particular that stood out during the SFA game, Javon Tillman, Juwan Dickey and Julius Maracalin.

Junior defensive back Tillman made eight tackles for the Lions. Junior wide receiver Dickey completed the game with five catches and sophomore running back Maracalin rushed a two-yard touchdown for the Lions in the second quarter.

The win over SFA was big for the Lions, but there are still more games ahead to think about.

“Every conference game is huge, we just need to focus on them one at a time,” said Roberts. “The more we win, the bigger each one will get.”

The next game will be huge too. The Homecoming Game is next in the Lions lineup and will be this Saturday against Houston Baptist at 4 p.m.

There will be free T-shirts for the first 300 students. The Homecoming Parade will be taking place at 12 p.m.