Late Score Lifts Lions
Golson rallies SAGU past Jackets, 21-15
Smith sparks defense with 65-yard TD
MIDLOTHIAN, Texas -- In a college football game dominated by the defense, it was a last minute score by an offensive unit that capped a wild finish at Midlothian Stadium.
After Howard Payne University took their first lead of the game, 15-14, with 1:17 to play, Southwestern Assemblies of God University drove 63 yards in seven plays for the winning touchdown with twenty-one seconds remaining. The 21-15 triumph evened the Lions record at 1-1, while Payne fell to 0-2.
The game was played in the 8,000 seat M.I.S.D. Multi-Purpose Stadium, eleven miles west of Waxahachie. Lumpkins Stadium (capacity: 10,000), home to both Waxahachie High School and SAGU, hadn’t completed its expansion project. It is expected to be ready for the Lions next scheduled home game on October 1 against Southern Nazarene University.
The Lions, trailing by one, needed a protagonist. They turned to Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS), the back-up QB. He delivered, accounting for all 63 yards; 53 of them through the air. His three yard touchdown run off right tackle was the difference.
The Yellow Jackets had stunned a festive crowd with two TD’s in less than three minutes, both following quarterback fumbles. The first was a 31-yard TD pass from Marcus McAdoo to Karl Stewart with 3:41 remaining. A try for a two-point conversion on an option run by McAdoo was not successful. SAGU still led, 14-9.
Howard Payne’s onside kick attempt was recovered by the Lions’ Kendal Evers (Danbury, Tx / Danbury HS). Southwestern appeared to be in position to clinch the game after a 16-yard run off left tackle by senior QB Jason Rice (Katy, Tx / Faith West HS) put the ball on the Jackets 20.
But a mishandled play in the backfield allowed Demetrius Cody to grab the loose ball and dart 75 yards for a score and a 15-14 lead. The senior linebacker was Payne’s MVP last season. Their conversion failed again.
The Winning Drive stings Jackets
Golson, a sophomore transfer from Howard Payne, re-entered the game. He zipped a short pass to Nic Morphew (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS), who bolted 17 yards to the Jackets 46. Golson scuttled seven yards before tossing another pass to Morphew, who also played at HPU last fall. The junior receiver bobbled the ball over the middle, gathered in the loose pigskin, and coursed his way 16 yards to the Stingers’ 23.
Then he swung a quick pass to halfback Sean Haynes (Katy, Tx / Taylor HS) who had run a short curl pattern. The fleet-footed junior split the defense for 20 yards, barreling to the three yard line. An incomplete pass in the end zone, intended for ace WR David Howard (Dayton, Tx / Dayton HS), preceded the game-winning play.
Golson ran an option play to his right, and cut into a seam in the defense, racing untouched into the end zone with 0:21 to play. Beating his former team was sweet for the elusive Golson. James Gish (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) added his third extra-point kick.
The Jackets were able to run only one play after returning the kickoff. Freshman defensive end Therian Lewis (Corpus Christi, Tx / Mary Carroll HS) sacked McAdoo for a nine yard loss.
The defensive game saw SAGU hold the Jackets to only 209 yards. Their new triple-option ground attack was grounded by an active front seven, led by seniors Jon Hulett (Corrigan, Tx / Corrigan HS) and Patrick Smith (Bluffton, SC / Hilton Head Christian).
The game’s only touchdown through three quarters was by the defense. Late in the first period, Smith picked off a Thomas Head pass near the line of scrimmage, shrugged off a would-be tackler, and rambled 65 yards for a TD.
The Lions extended their lead to 14-3 in the opening moments of the final stanza. Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) recovered a Jackets fumble on the Howard Payne 38. Rice then engineered a scoring march, all on running plays. He ran a “read-option” to his left, choosing to handoff to Haynes, who powered his way across the goal line with 13:23 on the clock.
Golson finished as the game’s top rusher, gaining 83 yards on 16 carries. Haynes ran for 43 on nine totes and led with four catches for 25 yards. Smith was the Lions standout defender, racking up nine tackles, seven of them solo. Davis, a freshman LB, added six stops. The Lions limited the Jax rushing game to 80 yards on 44 carries (1.8 yds per attempt).
Lions Menu: Kangaroos
On tap for SAGU this Saturday is Austin College. The 1:00pm game will be played in Jerry Apple Stadium (900 N. Grand Ave., Sherman, Tx), where the Lions defense will be put to the test again by a solid rushing attack. Sherman is near the Oklahoma border on highway 75.
The 'Roos (0-2) have won the past two meetings. The game, which will honor their 1981 NAIA national champion team, is also their home opener.