SENIOR DAY FOR 15 BEARKATS
The most successful group of seniors in Sam Houston State’s 97 years of football will play their final regular season game at Bowers Stadium Saturday. The 15 senior letterwinners will be recognized in a special pregame ceremony.
SHSU’s 2013 seniors have led the Bearkats to back-to-back Southland Conference titles and appearances in two NCAA Division I national championship games. Since September 2011, they have ranked among the Top 10 in the FCS for 30 consecutive weeks.
The group has posted 38 victories as Bearkats, the most during any four-year period at Sam Houston. They have set 51 school records.
The 15 seniors are Forbes Baggett, Jesse Beauchamp, Brian Bell, Matt Boyles, Tanner Brock, Jarrett Brown, Eric Fieilo, Timothy Flanders, Johntel Franklin, DeAntrey Loche, Richard Sincere, Bookie Sneed, Andrew Weaver, Torrance Williams and Ryan Wilson.
FCS’S LONGEST CURRENT HOME WINNING STREAK
The Kats own a 20-game home winning streak at Bowers Stadium, the longest in school history and, currently, in the FCS. The streak started with a win over Texas State after losing to McNeese in 2010.
Sam Houston’s 20-game streak now stands as the 12th longest in FCS history. Georgia Southern holds the record with 39 consecutive home wins from 1997 to 2001.
Bowers Stadium opened in 1986. The Bearkats won their first 13 games in the facility and now hold a 102-42-1 record at Bowers. Sam Houston has posted unbeaten seasons at home in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2004, 2011 and 2012.
BEARKATS VERSUS COLONELS SERIES
Sam Houston leads the all-time series with the Colonels 16 victories to 11. There has been one tie (1992). The Bearkats own a seven-game winning streak versus Nicholls. The Colonels’ last win over SHSU came in Thibodaux, La, in a 37-17 game in 2005.
The Bearkats own a 9-3 advantage over the Colonels in Huntsville. Nicholls’ only wins at Bowers Stadium came in 1989, 1994 and 2002.
SAM HOUSTON TOP 10 IN NINE FCS STAT CATERGORIES
Sam Houston State ranks in the top 10 in FCS national statistics in nine categories. The Bearkats are No. 2 in FCS pass efficiency (173.13) and passing yards per completion (15.78); No. 3 in punt return average (18.88); No. 4 in blocked kicks (6) and No. 4 in scoring offense (43.9); No. 5 in fewest sacks allowed (5); No. 6 in rushing offense (272.1) and No. 10 in net punting (38.85) and fewest turnovers (10).
Sam Houston football games are broadcast live by KSAM 101.7 FM
in Huntsville and on the internet at www.gobearkats.com.
BEARKATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The Bearkats stand No. 7 in the current Sports Network FCS poll and No. 8 in this week’s NCAA Coaches poll.
Sam Houston has been ranked among the FCS top 25 for 34 consecutive weeks. The team debuted in the national poll Sept. 9, 2011. During an 11-0 regular season in 2011, the Kats rose to No. 1 at the end of the regular season.
SHSU has ranked among the FCS top 10 for 30 consecutive polls. Sam Houston has finished each of the past two seasons No. 2 in the final rankings in both polls.
CONSECUTIVE NCAA FINALS APPEARANCES
Sam Houston State is one of only eight football programs to appear in consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Games.
The list of seven other universities reaching the finals in back-to-back seasons during the tournament’s 34-year history includes Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Youngstown State, Marshall, Montana, Appalachian State and North Dakota State.
SOUTHLAND PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Quarterback Brian Bell was named the Southland Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Bearkats to a 56-49 victory over SFA. Bell completed 19 of 29 passes for a career-best 339 yards and four touchdowns (15, 4, 38 and 16 yards). He accounted for 383 total yards of offense in guiding the Bearkats to 557 total yards in the game.
The award marked the seventh weekly honor this year for a Bearkat.
Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders has earned league offensive honors twice this season. His first award came after scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 170 yards against Texas A&M. Flanders’ total was the most by any player against A&M in 42 games (since Colt McCoy of Texas in 2009).
Flanders was both Southland and FCS national player of the week after gaining 280 yards on 32 carries in the victory over then No. 2 Eastern Washington.
Linebacker Tanner Brock received the league’s weekly defensive honor after leading the team in tackles and posting two sacks in the victory over Texas Southern.
Cornerback De’Antrey Loche was Southland defensive player of the week after returning an interception 42 yards for a touchdown to put Sam Houston ahead to stay in the EWU victory.
Wide receiver / punt return specialist Torrance Williams was Southland special teams player of the week after the Lamar win. Williams returned five punts for 138 yards including a long of 53.
Linebacker Eric Fieilo was Southland defensive player-of-the-week after leading the Kats with 10 tackles in the Northwestern St. win.
SOUTHLAND RACE GOING DOWN TO THE WIRE
Southeastern Louisiana (4-0) leads the 2013 league race with the McNeese Cowboys and Sam Houston both a game behind at 3-1 and Central Arkansas still a factor at 2-2. The Bearkats close out the regular season on the road against the Lions and the Bears.
RUNNING BACK TIMOTHY FLANDERS
All-America running back, Walter Payton Award candidate and two-time Southland “Player of the Year” Timothy Flanders ranks No. 12 in the FCS in total rushing yards (1,019).
The Midwest City, Okla., product is the first Southland Conference running back to gain more than 5,000 rushing yards and score more than 400 points.
He holds 31 Sam Houston school records and nine Southland Conference marks. He has rushed 916 times for 5,253 yards and 63 touchdowns in his career.
Flanders stands No. 8 in FCS career rushing TDs (63), No. 10 in FCS
career points (402) and No. 16 in FCS career rushing yards (5,253)
Flanders has posted 29 100-yard rushing performances.
QUARTERBACK BRIAN BELL
Brian Bell is Sam Houston’s all-time winningest quarterback, leading SHSU to 37 victories in 47 starts since 2010. He stands No. 2 in the FCS national rankings for yards per completion (16.37), No. 3 in FCS pass efficiency (176.2), No. 6 in points responsible for (168) and No. 8 in touchdown passes (22).
The senior from China Spring is the program’s all-time leader in passing (7,835 yards), total offense (9,034 yards) and TD passes (74). He stands No. 10 in Southland career passing yards and No. 5 in league touchdown throws.
Bell is only the second quarterback in school history to gain 1,000 career yards rushing. The first was David Kubiak (1,528 in 1967-70). Bell now stands No. 31 in SHSU career rushing with 1,199 yards. He has 20 rushing TDs to his credit.
WILD BEARKAT RICHARD SINCERE
Richard Sincere, the senior wide receiver who also runs the “Wild Bearkat” formation and returns kicks, stands No. 5 in Sam Houston all-purpose yards with a total of 3,468. He also ranks No. 9 in SHSU career rushing (2,169) and No. 21 in Bearkat career receiving (2,112).
The Galveston Ball product joins Tony January as the only Bearkats to gain more than 1,000 career yards both rushing and receiving. From 1978 to 1982, January gained 2,376 rushing and 1,328 receiving.
Sincere has six rushes for more than 40 yards (including a long of 65 yards for a touchdown in the 2012 victory over McNeese). He has three touchdown catches of more than 60 yards (the longest, 77 yards from Brian Bell in the 2011 Lamar victory).
TORRANCE WILLIAMS TOPS IN SOUTHLAND & FCS
Torrance Williams leads both the Southland Conference and the FCS national statistics in punt returns with a 19.2 average. He also is ranked No. 10 nationally in receiving touchdowns (9) and No. 27 in all-purpose yards (130.89 per game).
Williams already has broken the SHSU season record for punt return yards (404) and ranks No. 14 in SHSU career all-purpose yards (2,472) and No. 10 in career receiving (1,481 yards).
KESHAWN HILL IN KAT 1,000 YARD RUSHING CLUB
Junior running back and kick return specialist Keshawn Hill brings the number of Kats in 1,000-yard stat clubs on this year’s team to five. He has career totals of 1,184 yards rushing and 1,834 all-purpose yards.
CORNERBACK BOOKIE SNEED
Cornerback Bookie Sneed picked off his ninth career interception Saturday in the SFA victory. The senior ranks seventh in SHSU career interceptions. He holds a school record with his 92-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter of the 2012 SFA victory.
Dax Swanson set the SHSU school career record with 14 between 2009 and 2012.
Four times this year, Bearkat defenders have returned interceptions for touchdowns. DeAntrey Loche scored on a 42-yard game-turning interception in the victory over then No. 2 Eastern Washington and a 45-yard return versus SFA at Reliant that proved to be the game-winning tally. Shelby Davis and Tristen Eche scored in the Houston Baptist victory on plays of 48 and 32 yards, respectively.
LINEBACKERS FIEILO AND BROCK LEAD KAT DEFENSE
Seniors Eric Fieilo and Tanner Brock lead the Sam Houston defense with season totals of 67 tackles and 66, respectively.
Fieilo is a nominee for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award after his return this year from a season ending injury in last year’s season opener.
THE BLOCK PARTY
A Bearkat tradition established by head coach Willie Fritz when he was an assistant at Sam Houston in the early 1990s returned in 2010.
The SHSU “Block Party” produced six blocks in both 2011 and 2012. This year the Kats rank fourth in the FCS with six blocks in nine games. Eric Humphrey and James DeLaRosa each blocked a punt in the HBU victory. Andrew Weaver blocked a point after in the EWU win and a field goal in the Lamar victory. DeAntrey Loche blocked two field goal attempts in the Northwestern State win.
After Fritz started the “Block Party” in 1991, Sam Houston blocked 80 punts, field goals and extra points in the next 14 seasons.
DEFENSIVE END ANDREW WEAVER
Andrew Weaver was selected to the Associated Press FCS All-America third team in 2012. He was an All-Southland second team honoree. Weaver leads the 2013 Bearkats with six sacks.