Kats fall to Southern Utah 17-7

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 5:20 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Sam Houston could not overcome five turnovers in a 17-7 loss to Southern Utah in the season finale at Bowers Stadium on Saturday.

The Bearkats (5-4) lost three fumbles and threw a pair of interceptions to close the FCS error with two consecutive losses. Sam Houston is moving up to FBS when it officially joins Conference USA next season.

The Thunderbirds (5-6) didn’t waste much time taking the early lead. Southern Utah ripped off a 58-yard run on the first play of the game to move into SHSU territory. The Bearkat defense dug in after that and held the Thunderbirds to a 44-yard field goal.

Sam Houston struggled on its first two possessions. The first drive ended in a punt, and the second resulted in a fumble that Southern Utah recovered and turned into a touchdown to make it 10-0 with 5:20 left in the first quarter. The Bearkats were able to find the end zone in the second quarter. Dezmon Jackson got the drive started with 19 yards on three carries. Backup quarterback Trapper Pannell then connected with Al’von Woodard on a 54-yard pass to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Pannell to cut it to 10-7 right before the half.

Southern Utah made it 17-7 in the third quarter when a bad snap on a punt set the Thunderbirds up deep in SHSU territory.

Pannell finished with a career-high 147 yards on the ground after replacing starting quarterback Keegan Shoemaker who was injured on the Kats’ first possession of the game.

Kavian Gaither led the defense with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. David Fisher had an interception and Tyler Moore had four tackles for a loss and a sack.