Kats hold off Demons in Thursday clash
NATCHITOCHES, La. – The No. 5 Sam Houston Bearkats were far from perfect on Thursday night, but kept their perfect record in tact with a 24-16 road win over Northwestern State at Turpin Stadium.
The Kats (4-0, 4-0 SLC) never trailed, but struggled to put the Demons (0-5, 0-5 SLC) away throughout the night, despite recovering three fumbles and allowing just 31 rushing yards on the night.
NSU junior quarterback Bryce Rivers looked strong in his second start of the year, completing 29 of his 51 passes for 410 yards, much in the second half in the Demon comeback attempt.
The win for the Kats not only kept its perfect record alive in the spring season, but marked the third win in a row for SHSU at Turpin Stadium, something the team has never done in a series that dates back to 1929.
Eric Schmid threw for 312 yards and a pair of scores, while Ramon Jefferson delivered his second 100-yard rushing game of the year with 109 yards on 18 carries. Ife
Adeyi and Cody Chrest each turned in big receiving nights with Adeyi hauling in six passes for 134 yards and a score, while Chrest had seasons highs with five grabs for 98 yards and a score.
Sam Houston got rolling early as Quentin Brown forced a fumble on the opening Demon drive that Markel Perry fell on. Six plays later Schmid found Cody Chrest up the left sideline for a 28-yard score that put the Kats out in front 7-0, just 3:17 into the game.
From there the game featured the Bearkat defense as it held the Demons to 163 yards in the half, sacking NSU quarterback Bryce Rivers four times and allowing just 26 yards on the ground.
Sam Houston was able to rack up 241 yards of offense on its side, but was unable to get back in the end zone until late in the second quarter. NSU blocked a Bearkat field goal try in the second quarter, but one drive later Schmid found Ife Adeyi on a screen pass for a 19-yard touchdown to put the Kats up two scores at 14-0.
Rivers was able to lead the Demons down the field on their final drive of the half, setting up a 35-yard field goal by Eddie Godina that split the uprights to get NSU on the board and make it a 14-3 game at the half.
The Kats were able to overcome an interception on the first drive of the second half by getting into the end zone on their next drive. A 30-yard completion from Schmid to Chrest set Sam Houston up deep in the red zone with the drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown run form Donovan Williams, his second of the season and 16th of his career.
Seth Morgan added a 41-yard field goal later, but the Demons continued to move the ball through the air, but Zyon McMollum and Jaylen Thomas both forced key fumbles late in the fourth quarter to help thwart Demon scoring opportunities.
The Bearkats will now return home next Saturday to close out the home portion of the regular season against McNeese.