Kats cruise past Southeast Missouri
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - With the flip of a light switch, Sam Houston got rolling en route to a 52-14 victory over Southeast Missouri in the home opener Saturday at Bowers Stadium.
Running back Ramon Jefferson rushed for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 1 Bearkats racked up 297 yards on the ground to improve to 2-0 on the season. Backup quarterback Trapper Pannell also added a 77-yard touchdown run and running back Noah Smith finished with 61 yards on 11 carries.
Quarterback Eric Schmid completed 16 of 28 passing attempts for 243 yards and three scores.
The Bearkats used the start of the second half to pull away from the Redhawks (0-2), who recovered an onside kick to start the third quarter but went three and out. Pannell took a direct snap with Schmid line out wide to the left and appeared to be bottled up in the backfield. He reversed pivoted, rolled around to the right and found a lane to race 77-yards for a touchdown to help Sam Houston go up 38-14.
The Bearkats made it 45-14 after another defensive stop.
Wide receivers Ife Adeyi, Chandler Harvin and Tony Williams had receptions of 12, 14 and 27 yards, respectively, to move the ball deep into SEMO territory. Schmid threw his second touchdown of the game with a three-yard strike to Adeyi at the 2:15 mark of the third quarter and finished his night with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Harvin in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 52-14. Harvin and Chrest both led the Kats with 72 yards receiving.
Sam Houston’s defense dominated the second half. The Redhawks had 216 yards of total offense in the first two quarters but were held to just 90 yards after the break. Sam Houston turned the momentum of the game in a hurry toward the end of the second quarter to go up 31-14 at the half. Following a fumble by Schmid,
Tristin McCollum blocked a 48-yard SEMO field goal attempt. The next play, Jefferson set a personal single game rushing record for the second straight game with a 70-yard touchdown run after breaking several tackling attempts.
Sam Houston then used its first turnover of the game to take a two-touchdown lead. Cornerback Jaylen Thomas picked off quarterback CJ Ogbonna and returned it 49 yards for the score with 1:11 left in the half.
Kicker Seth Morgan tacked on three more in the final seconds of the quarter. He split the uprights with a career-high 50-yard field goal. It was the first field goal of at least 50 yards by a Bearkat since Tre Honshtein in 2015.
After the Redhawks tied the game, the Bearkats retook the lead at 14-7 at the start of the second quarter. Schmid hit tight end Jacob Kainer on a 36-yard pitch and catch to the SEMO 26. Tight end Isaac Schley caught a 14-yard pass to the 4, and Schmid found Chrest for a six-yard score.
SEMO took advantage of a Schmid interception by Keandre Booker that was returned to the SHSU 2-yard line to tie the game at 14. Geno Hess was able to score from a yard out on a rush up the middle on third and goal with 11:01 to go in the second quarter. The Bearkats first possession of the game went a lot smoother. Jefferson ripped off runs of 21 and 18 yards to move the ball to midfield. Schmid connected with Chrest for a 17-yard gain to the SEMO 1 where Jefferson punched it in to make it 7-0 following the extra point attempt by Morgan. The Redhawks answered on the following possession. Ogbonna tossed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Alston to tie the game at 7. The Bearkats have a bye week then hit the road to play Central Arkansas on Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. in the opener of WAC/ASUN action.
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