Seniors ride out with win over Southeastern

From SAU Sports
Daniel Gallegos, Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications

Southern Arkansas 2016 senior class ends careers with impressive 16-2 home record

HOW IT HAPPENED – First Half 

  • Defense dictated much of the first quarter, but an interception by SAU’s Lorenzo Watkins with 4:02 on the clock in the first set up the Muleriders’ first score of the game; a 13-yard TD pass from Barrett Renner to senior wideout Jared Brown
  • A three-and-out followed on Southeastern’s ensuing possession and the Muleriders’ offense ate up the next five minutes of game clock before Bradford Grems capped a 15-play drive with a 21-yard field goal to make it 10-0 SAU
  • Moments later, following another three-and-out forced by the Muleriders’ defense, SAU raced out to a 17-0 lead as Tanner Hudson turned a five-yard inside route into a 61-yard touchdown as he evaded numerous Savage Storm defenders and added a few shifty moves to break out into the open
  • The Savage Storm scored their first points of the game on their next possession to cut SAU’s lead to 10 points at 17-7
  • Both teams then traded three-and-outs to give SAU the ball back with 1:42 left before halftime
  • After three plays on that drive, Hudson broke out again for a long score, this one from 45 yards out, and the Muleriders went into the locker room up 24-

HOW IT HAPPENED – Second Half 

  • Coming out of the break, SAU received the ball after winning the toss and deferring. The Muleriders made the most of that decision as they found themselves up 31-7 at the end of lengthy drive that covered 84 yards on 12 plays, while consuming 5:21 of game time. Accounting for that Mulerider score was Hudson as he hauled in his third touchdown reception of the game
  • Three plays later, it appeared as though the SAU defense forced another three-and-out, but faced with a 4th-and-3 from their 35, the Savage Storm elected to go for a fake punt as punter Joel Carlos ran for the needed three yards to keep the drive going.
  • That 4th-down conversion on the fake punt sparked the Southeastern offense and two plays later, quarterback CB Cantwell found Anterric Maxey wide open from 45-yards out for the score
  • An unproductive SAU drive led to another score by Southeastern as Carlos made good on a 20-yard field goal to make it 31-17, SAU with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter
  • SAU’s ensuing possession took the game into the fourth quarter and eventually, the Muleriders lit up the scoreboard once more as Renner found his fullback Dalton Wright from four-yards out to make it 38-17, Muleriders
  • The Savage Storm answered relatively quickly with a score of their own to make it a two-possession game at 38-24 with 9:21 left in the fourth quarter
  • SAU had another unproductive offensive drive and punted the ball away to the Savage Storm with just over seven minutes left in the game
  • As it has done in numerous games this year, the SAU defense came up with a game-saving turnover as Elgin Moore intercepted Cantwell, giving the Muleriders the ball back with 6:44 left on the clock
  • In no hurry, the Muleriders embarked on a methodical drive that had the primary goals of ball security and first downs
  • SAU got both on that drive as they held on to the ball and four first downs gained on the drive allowed the Muleriders to go in to victory formation on the game’s final two plays

TURNING POINT

  • Southeastern converting a 4th-down on a fake punt about midway in the third quarter and two plays later, the Savage Storm scored their second touchdown of the game to make it 31-14 SAU
  • Prior to that, SAU was firmly in control of the game and was perhaps looking to go up by five possessions if they were to have scored a TD
  • Southeastern went on to score 10 more points from there and had a lot of momentum going their way as they attempted to comeback on the Muleriders, but the SAU defense stood tall once more and Elgin Moore’s INT essentially ended the game as Southeastern did not touch the football again

OF NOTE

  • This game marked the final home game in the playing careers of SAU’s nine seniors and with the victory, this senior class will end their careers 16-2 at home inside Wilkins Stadium at Rip Powell Field
  • SAU QB Barrett Renner tied a single-game best in touchdown passes as he threw for five in the game against Southeastern. Renner has accomplished that feat now three times in his career and the five TD tosses are tied for the second-most in a game at SAU
  • On the receiving end of three of Renner’s TD passes was tight end Tanner Hudson. The three receiving TDs for Hudson are a single-game high for him and also are tied for the second-most in a game at SAU
  • A dual-threat player, Hudson also had a fine game as SAU’s punter. Having to punt five times, Hudson averaged 51.8 yards per punt with two going over 50 yards including a long punt of 70 yards. Hudson now has two punts of 70 yards or longer on the season
  • The Mulerider defense had two interceptions against Southeastern, making it the sixth game this season that SAU has had at least two interceptions. Coming into play, the Muleriders were leading the GAC in interceptions with 13
  • Also on defense, the Muleriders managed to stop the league’s best 1-2 running combo in Devlon Wortham and Ronnie Green to just a combined 75 yards on 20 carries (3.8 yards/rush). Both backs were averaging over 100 yards per game and ranked in the top-three in the GAC in rushing. Additionally, Wortham had over 500 yards and nine touchdowns scored in his career against SAU coming into the game

UP NEXT
The Muleriders will now prepare to hit the road next weekend as they will travel to Ada, Okla. to take on East Central University on Saturday, November 5. Kick-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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