Lions roll past Haskell, 46-2
Big-play receivers are catalysts
Next-up: Unbeaten Southern Nazarene at home on Saturday night
LAWRENCE, Kansas -- Led by a stingy defense and an offense of playmakers, Southwestern Assemblies of God University prevailed over Haskell University, 46-2, on Saturday evening.
The win improved the Lions record to 3-1 and sets up a clash with undefeated Southern Nazarene University (4-0) next Saturday at Lumpkins Stadium. Kickoff is planned for 6:00pm.
The contest will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live. The livestream begins with a pre-game show at 5:45pm.
Southwestern shutdown the Haskell attack, holding them without an offensive score and yielding only 81 yards. This group, led by four seniors, has now scored in all four games and moved to #8 in the nation in least number of yards allowed.
A defense as dangerous as hammering dynamite
The Lions defense is as dangerous as hammering dynamite, a quote from James G. Huneker . They have permitted just five touchdowns in four games, including only two to #16 ranked Bethany College (Kansas), who are 4-0.
The Indians coughed up two fumbles and were forced to punt 13 times.
Rice, Golson, archers with fiery arrows
Meanwhile, the Lions had five different receivers score on a touchdown pass as the unit racked up 581 total yards.
Senior quarterback Jason Rice (Katy, Tx / Faith West HS, Texas State Univ), the Offensive Player of the Week in the Central States Football League a week ago, had a solid encore.
He completed 8-of-15 passes for 213 yards and 3 TD’s without an interception. He rushed for 44 yards on ten carries while splitting time with sophomore back-up Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS, Howard Payne Univ).
Golson accounted for three scores as well, hitting 7-of-15 throws for 132 yards and a pair of scoring strikes. The speedster tacked on 39 yards on eight totes, including a TD on a QB draw from 13-yards out.
What the offense lacked in terms of fluidity, it more than made up for in big plays.
Rice hit David Howard (Dayton, Tx / Dayton HS) from 51 yards before Golson zipped another scoring pass to Nick Morphew (Grandview, Tx / Howard Payne Univ) that covered 21 yards. Golson then connected the dots to runningback Sean Haynes (Katy, Tx / Taylor HS), and he zoomed 80 yards to glory.
Rice added two more TD tosses in the third quarter; 14 yards to Max Whitfield (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) and 44 to Jeremy McDonald (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian).
The Lions continue to hinder themselves with turnovers. They lost three fumbles and an interception to give them 14 miscues in four games. Twelve penalties for 96 yards also slowed their attack.
“We turned the ball over way too many times to achieve the consistency we desire for our offense,” said head coach Jesse Godding during the 550-mile trip home. “Whether we were just sluggish on offense, or it was the effects of the long bus ride, this is something that cannot occur against Southern Nazarene.”
As for the quiver of arrows that archers Rice, Golson and Josh Harris (Victorville, Cal / Victor Valley Christian) have at their disposal, Godding was pleased. “Five caught a touchdown in the game. That’s indicative of the ball distribution we are getting from our quarterbacks,” he said.
Cade Leuschner (Waco, Tx / Robinson HS) had his best day in college football with 81 yards on just 7 carries, with a 40-yard bolt through the Haskell interior.
He was equally generous in his praise for the Lions defense.
“Defensively,” he added, “we created turnover opportunities and shutout Haskell. We continue to develop players defensively and every snap helps us get a little better and a little older. There are always things to work on, but you have to be pleased with the coaching preparation and the effort to hold a team to negative yards rushing and 81 total yards of offense.”
Richard “Donte” Embry (Paris, Tx / Paris HS) led all defenders with nine tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and had a tackle for a loss. Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) had five stops, while tackle Richard Adewola (Richmond, Tx / B.F. Terry HS) made three tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a pair of QB sacks.
Davis (21), an outside linebacker, is pictured above. Photo by Steve Patterson.
Jason Bethel (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) produced the defense’s points. Lining up as an outside linebacker, he sacked QB Ryan Alden in the end zone for safety with 3:33 left in the contest. SAGU ran out the clock from there.
The play of the SAGU special teams has steadily improved. The unit was quick and effective in their coverage. Brad Heathcock (Frisco, Tx / Lakeland HS), a tough-as-nails safety, was singled out by Coach Godding for his effort in Kansas. He returned six punts, including one for 29 yards. James Gish (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) added a 28-yard field goal.
SAGU led 20-2 at the half and 44-2 after three quarters of play.