Turnovers, Missed Chances Prove Costly

GOODWELL, Oklahoma -- Two turnovers led to a pair of first half touchdowns allowing Oklahoma Panhandle State University to defeat Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 35-31, in a Saturday afternoon college football game.

After cashing in on a Lions interception to start the game, the Aggies returned a SAGU fumble 18 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead they would never relinquish. OPSU (4-3), an NCAA Division II school, managed to win despite gaining only 335 yards, of which 97 were on the ground.

The Lions scored four offensive touchdowns, two apiece by halfback Eddie Bailey, Jr. (Milwaukee, Wisc / John Jay HS) and tight end Dylan Moore (Denton, Tx / Guyer HS), but it was several missed opportunities that helped send SAGU to their sixth loss in seven tries. Earlier setbacks to Austin College and Langston University were eerily similar.

Southwestern head coach Jesse Godding said as much following the game. "It was another heartbreaking loss. But our guys never let up and gave a great effort." The Lions ran 79 offensive plays to just 54 for Panhandle State, but couldn't finish a few opportunities that would haunt them by game's end. At 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the Central States Football League, SAGU continues to display heart and purpose.

After Going "O-for-Oklahoma," the Lions are Coming Home!

It was the team's fourth consecutive game in Oklahoma. By the time the Purple Pride plays host to Northwestern Oklahoma State this Saturday, it will have been six weeks since they have played at home, where they'll play their final three contests.

Second Half Summary

Trailing 28-17 at the half, the Lions applied the clamps to the Aggies while making plays in a spirited rally. Steve Borden (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) forced a fumble on the first play of the third quarter, which was recovered by Jared Hudgins (Midland, Tx / Midland Christian).

Three runs by Bailey picked up 23 yards before Kolby Burns (Dallas, Tx / Duncanville Christway) darted 15 yards to the eight yard line. QB Jeremy Fowler (Caddo Mills, Tx / Caddo Mills HS) then lofted a fade pass to Moore, who went over a defender to make the catch (see photo). He lined up as a wide receiver on the play. The score capped a 46-yard scoring march in seven plays. Trailing by four for the second of three times, they would draw no closer.

After Quentin Holloman (Garland, Tx / Sachse HS) stopped Jose Mendoza on third and one to force a punt, the Lions had very good field position on their own 40. The opportunity was quickly negated by a blocking in the back and a clipping penalty on the first two plays, followed by a dropped pass on the third.

OPSU promptly marched 79 yards in eight plays to score what turned out to be the game winning touchdown. Darryl Brister gained 25 yards on four carries and QB Kevin Lauchland went 4-for-4 in passing, with completions of 6, 13, 20 and again for 20. The latter went to Tyler Northcutt, who had "reservations for six" and a 35-24 third quarter advantage. It would be their only scoring play of the second half.

The Lions marched to the Aggies 46, sparked by Fowler passes of 14 to Uriah Lester (Austin, Tx / Reagan HS) and 12 to Darion Waits (Waxahachie, Tx / Ennis, HS). A penalty stalled that drive as well.

Golden Domers

SAGU forced the hosts into another punt, giving the Golden Domers possession at their own 24.

Fowler led a 74 yard march with a wide array of plays before zipping a 3-yard scoring dart to Moore with 9:30 to go in the game. James Gish (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) added his third point after touchdown kick.

There were a few huge plays that kept the chains moving during the drive. Bailey picked up seven yards on third and one at the SAGU 35. From the Aggies 25, Fowler connected with Detrick Green (Italy, Tx / Italy HS) for 17 yards. Finally, the touchdown to Moore. On fourth and three he went over the middle, but was well covered. In fact, a linebacker had inside position when Fowler deftly wristed the pigskin. Moore cut in front and practically swiped the ball that looked like it would be intercepted by OSU. Statisticians wrestled with whether Moore's catch should be listed as a reception or an interception.

"Now that was a great catch," Bailey said after the game. "It was a beautiful play. He just wanted the ball more. He had super hands on his first TD too."

Southwestern had plenty of time to complete the comeback. But it would not happen.

The defense stiffened and forced another punt when 6'3 linebacker James Kirksey (Ft. Smith, Ark / Southside HS) broke up a third down pass. The offense took over on the SAGU 35 with 5:28 remaining. They crossed midfield on a 12-yard pass to 6-foot-2 wideout Anthony Morris, Jr. (Houston, Tx / Alief Hastings HS) and a short gainer on a toss to Burns.

That's when Oklahoma Panhandle came up with a major break. Fowler's pass, intended for Waits, was tipped and picked off by Christopher Robinson at the OPSU 41.

Again, the defense wouldn't budge. Linebackers Brad Heathcock (Frisco, Tx / Wakeland HS, Univ. of North Texas) and Dante Embry (Paris, Tx / Paris HS) each made two tackles, resulting in an Aggie punt. Heathcock returned it 15 yards, setting up shop for the offense on the SAGU 44 with just 0:26 showing.

A 15-yard penalty on OPSU and a Fowler to Green completion tacked on 13 yards. From the 28 yard line the Lions had time for two plays. Fowler was forced to throw the first one away when he couldn't locate an open receiver. With 0:04 left, he lobbed up a desperation heave in the end zone in the direction of Green. Two passes that fell incomplete, as did a solid effort by the Lions. It was that close. 

Statistics:  Team Totes

Southwestern outgained Panhandle State in total offense, 449 to just 335. The Lions had a 21-18 edge in first downs. Yards Rushing: SAGU 125, OPSU 97. Both teams had a number of costly penalties and each squad committed three turnovers. The difference was in who better capitalized on their opponents' mistakes.

First Half Overview

The Aggies jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead by scoring on their first two possessions. They had a short field after they intercepted a tipped pass by Fowler at the Lions 44. Eight plays later Darryl Brister powered his way in from four yards out for a 6-0 lead.

After a SAGU punt, they quickly rolled 60 yards in six plays. Lauchland got almost all of it in one play. On 3rd-and-19 he teamed up with Steve Olopo for 58 yards. He would've scored had it not been for a tackle by Trevor McKinley (Arlington, Tx / Juan Seguin HS). Mendoza powered his way in from four yards out. A two point conversion pass lifted the home team on top by a 14-0 count.

Bailey Rockets down the Sideline

The Lions' cashed in on their third possession. The drive was maintained when Fowler found Green on a third down pass for seven yards. From the Aggies 35 the sophomore signal caller pump-faked on an in-route by Waits, then pitched a short flair pass to Bailey. Having begun the play by pass blocking, Bailey flaired out of the backfield, made an over the shoulder catch and turned on the afterburners!

McKinley swung momentum strongly in favor of SAGU when he made an interception to stop a drive. The Purple Pride advanced to the OPSU 43 after a 23-yard reception by Moore. He stepped in at WR for Micah Burditt (Midland, Tx / Midland Robert E. Lee HS), who left the game with a head injury in the opening minutes. Fowler was sacked on 4th and six, ending the drive.

SAGU took over on their 18 after forcing a punt. Bailey took a pitchout wide and as he cut up field, a defender yanked his facemask (no penalty was called). The action prompted a fumble near the sideline. Robinson was there, scooped up the ball and easily waltzed to the goal line. Oklahoma Panhandle had re-established their two TD lead at 21-7.

The remainder of the game saw the teams swap scores.

Getting Their Growl On!

The Lions used their sixth possession to go 70 yards, using 13 plays and milk 6:31 off the clock. Bailey kick-started the drive with an 18 yard dash to the OPSU 40. On 3rd-and-11 from the 41, Fowler got the ball to the likeable Waits, whose catch and run gained 15 yards.

Bailey churned up chunks of nine and four yards before Jason Rice (Katy, Tx / Katy Faith West HS, Texas State Univ) came in at QB. He called his own number on three option plays, articulating the ball to the four yard line.

Jason Rice: Triple Threat QB

Coach Godding called a time out as the team faced a fourth and goal decision. He considered a pass play but chose instead an option running play. Rice took the snap and went towards the sideline while Bailey trailed as his option. The junior QB lateraled to Bailey, who made a move outside, then cut back in and scored untouched with 4:40 left in the half.

The Lions defense then presented the offense with a golden opportunity. On the first play after the kickoff, Embry, a junior LB, made a sweet read and intercepted the ball at the Aggies 26.

A 15-yard personal foul penalty against Panhandle and a 6-yard slash by Bailey had the Jungle Kings knocking at the door. Fowler wasn't able to connect the dots on a pass in the direction of Waits, and the team had to settle for a chip shot field goal. Gish split the uprights from 22 yards and the Lions were within 21-17 with just 1:55 to go before intermission.

The Aggies did not sit on the lead. Lauchland completed 4-of-5 passes as he efficiently led his troops downfield. The play that got them untracked was a 10-yard pass to Isaiah Warren on a 3rd-and-9 play. The last two plays of the drive were passes to WR Doug Williams. The first went for 28 on third and two, and then he spotted him open in the secondary for a 19-yard TD and a 28-17 scoreboard bulge.

The Lions actually squeezed in a last-gasp-blast before the half. On 4th-and-7 from the OPSU 44, rather than punt, Fowler fired deep for Green. Last year's leading rusher, Green made the catch but was tackled nine yards short of the end zone.

Player Stat Leaders

Bailey finished with 88 yards and 15 carries, with Burns and Rice adding 21 and 19. Look to see much more of Burns this Saturday. The 5-foot-6, 160 yard freshman scat-back rushed for over 7,000 yards playing six-man football in high school. In the open field he can be like trying to catch smoke with a strainer.

Fowler completed 28-of-46 for 324 yards and three scores. Waits was his choice target making 7 catches for 52 yards.

Southwestern will host NW Oklahoma State (5-2) this Saturday, October 30, at 2:00pm. The Rangers boast one of the nation's best running games, led by senior RB Nate Guillory.

SAGU Sports Live Broadcast

The Game will be broadcast on the internet and many iPhone systems. Directions for accessing this free service is on the bottom of the Athletics home page. The live video-streaming will come to you in Hi-Def.

Final Two Home Games

Southwestern will play host to Haskell Indian Nations Institute on Saturday, November 6. The 2pm kickoff will highlight SAGU's annual homecoming festivities. The season finale will be on Nov. 13 when Texas College visists Waxahachie.

Football News

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Lions thump Steers in finale, 24-13

Nov 12, 2012 - Football News

SAGU getting close to big season Defense, Ekanem force 4 turnovers WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A quick start by the offense and big plays by the defense led Southwestern Assembli...

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WISD Appreciation Day on Saturday

WISD Appreciation Day on Saturday

Nov 05, 2012 - Football News

Lumpkins Stadium: SAGU vs Texas College, 2pm Students, Staff and Families invited to take in Lions football WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The final day of the college football re...

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Langston's #3 defense curbs Lions

Langston's #3 defense curbs Lions

Nov 05, 2012 - Football News

Nine trips into LU territory nets one TD Home finale on Saturday vs. Texas College LANGSTON, Oklahoma -- The Lions' bid for their first .500 season was cut short against a perennial powe...

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SAGU, Golson TD wins in OT, 28-27

SAGU, Golson TD wins in OT, 28-27

Oct 28, 2012 - Football News

Defense scores TD, forces six turnovers Lions travel to Langston (4-4) on Nov. 2 GOODWELL, Oklahoma  --  Traveling 480 miles, Southwestern Assemblies of God University had...

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500-yards and 37-points not enough

500-yards and 37-points not enough

Oct 21, 2012 - Football News

Tied 30-30, Lions fall at WBU 58-37 Defense forces 5 turnovers, offense sputters late PLAINVIEW, Texas  --  Rallying from a 14-point deficit to tie the game at 30-30 la...

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SAGU-Wayland meet in plain view

SAGU-Wayland meet in plain view

Oct 20, 2012 - Football News

Lions to meet new CSFL foe Focal Point: Pioneer passing vs SAGU secondary PLAINVIEW, Texas  --  Saturday afternoon the Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team b...

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Watch for Football Preview Tonight

Watch for Football Preview Tonight

Oct 19, 2012 - Football News

SAGU plays Saturday at Wayland 2:00pm Kickoff; Live Video Available PLAINVIEW, Texas  -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University will begin a stretch of three straight S...

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Twelve gridders rank nationally

Twelve gridders rank nationally

Oct 16, 2012 - Football News

Lions' defense rated #25 in NAIA SAGU travels to Wayland Baptist on Saturday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  At least a dozen players on the Southwestern Assemblies of God University fo...

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Stakes remain high for FB Lions

Stakes remain high for FB Lions

Oct 16, 2012 - Football News

SAGU hopes to spoil three homecomings Team can achieve lofty goals in final 4 games WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Saturday’s 41-0 blanking of Haskell University has energized the foot...

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Ground game paves road to 41-0 win

Ground game paves road to 41-0 win

Oct 15, 2012 - Football News

Lions rush for 364 yards, 3 TD's Ekanem, Heathcock, defense stifles Haskell WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The bumpy terrain terrain of three straight losses was flattened by a st...

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Lions caged in Oklahoma

Lions caged in Oklahoma

Oct 07, 2012 - Football News

Golson, Heathcock dauntless in defeat  SAGU to host Haskell at Homecoming MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team produced...

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Saturday Football Preview

Saturday Football Preview

Oct 06, 2012 - Football News

SAGU versus Bacone, 2:00pm Listen to the Audio Feed MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  The college football series between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Bacone College has...

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James Gish honored nationally

James Gish honored nationally

Oct 03, 2012 - Football News

Fred Mitchell Award shines on kickers One of two NAIA PK’s chosen in September WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Fred Mitchell Award recognized a host of place-kickers for their excel...

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Big plays ignite Lions in 43-38 setback

Big plays ignite Lions in 43-38 setback

Sep 24, 2012 - Football News

"Oh McDonald" sets receiving yardage record Ekanem breaks career mark for interceptions WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Jeremy McDonald (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) and Nic...

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Preview of Today's Games

Preview of Today's Games

Sep 22, 2012 - Football News

Soccer doubleheader, football on tap Lions-Bulldogs game on SAGU TV in HD WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Three of the four teams from Southwestern Assemblies of God Universit...

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Coach Godding's post-game Q & A

Coach Godding's post-game Q & A

Sep 17, 2012 - Football News

Quick 10-0 deficit, turnovers prove costly Lions defense and special teams praised WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- In the aftermath of a heartbreaking 25-17 defeat at the hands of Austin Coll...

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Lions lose ball, late lead, in 25-17 setback

Lions lose ball, late lead, in 25-17 setback

Sep 17, 2012 - Football News

Costly turnovers thwart would-be win SAGU to host Texas Lutheran on Saturday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The one that got away. It was like an angler with a 'prize catch' hooked, th...

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FB Lions host 'Roos at 7:00pm

FB Lions host 'Roos at 7:00pm

Sep 15, 2012 - Football News

Preview of Saturday's Game Golden domers clash; SAGU, Austin College WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Saturday’s seventh meeting between friendly football rivals Southwestern Assemblies ...

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Coach Godding Talks Howard Payne

Coach Godding Talks Howard Payne

Sep 12, 2012 - Football News

Lions' 27-17 victory reveals much about team Turnovers, NAIA-leading players, offense growing pains WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  In the aftermath of a thrilling road victory, So...

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Shakeem Taylor, Nat'l Player of the Week

Shakeem Taylor, Nat'l Player of the Week

Sep 11, 2012 - Football News

  Lions cornerback has four picks and a TD SAGU defense ranked #8, yielding 13.5 ppg WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The National Christian College Athletic Association selected Shakeem Ta...

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Ekanem chosen for Holiday Bowl

Ekanem chosen for Holiday Bowl

Sep 11, 2012 - Football News

Cornerback to play in nationally televised game Pre-Season All-American in Dec. 17 All-Star game WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s Nick Ekanem ...

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Lions win, 27-17; score 24 unanswered points

Lions win, 27-17; score 24 unanswered points

Sep 09, 2012 - Football News

Leuschner bounces back with winning TD Taylor returns INT 100-yds for touchdown BROWNWOOD, Texas  --  Saturday night’s college football game between Southwestern Assemblies...

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Lions travel to play Howard Payne

Lions travel to play Howard Payne

Sep 07, 2012 - Football News

Game kicks off at 6pm in Brownwood Follow the play-by-play, audio (links posted here) WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The last time the Southwestern Assemblies of God University footbal...

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New Offensive Coordinator Introduced

New Offensive Coordinator Introduced

Sep 05, 2012 - Football News

Football Lions welcome Frank Tristan Target is utilizing playmakers WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  When it comes to great ideas, the excitement they cause in people is often a tru...

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Coach Godding talks Bethany game

Coach Godding talks Bethany game

Sep 03, 2012 - Football News

Quotes after 13-12 season-opening setback Positives, surprises, working areas targeted WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  After taking the nation’s #24 ranked team, Bethany College (Ks), t...

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#24 Bethany rallies past Lions, 13-12

#24 Bethany rallies past Lions, 13-12

Sep 03, 2012 - Football News

Late TD overcomes solid SAGU effort Lions yield 238 yds, force four turnovers WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The hunger games of college football go beyond who is most hungry. Oft...

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Hungry Lions begin new season today

Hungry Lions begin new season today

Sep 01, 2012 - Football News

2012 Team and Season Preview SAGU welcomes #24 ranked Bethany College WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  With the appetite of a farmhand at haytime, the football team at Southwestern Assem...

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Lions take to the gridiron today

Lions take to the gridiron today

Aug 13, 2012 - Football News

SAGU eyes winning football season 13 starters return to power Team Purple WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The sounds are unmistakable. The shrill of constant whistles may give it away, ...

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Football Lions to face 2 ranked teams

Football Lions to face 2 ranked teams

Aug 07, 2012 - Football News

SAGU meets #24 Bethany in opener NAIA announces Pre-Season Top 25 Poll WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The 2012 college football season kicks off for Southwestern Assemblies of God Univ...

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Pre-Season All-America team includes 3 Lions

Pre-Season All-America team includes 3 Lions

Jul 31, 2012 - Football News

USA College Sports and NCCAA selects trio Ekanem, Golson, Johnson counted on to lead SAGU WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team had...

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In good hands with All-Stater

In good hands with All-Stater

Jun 27, 2012 - Football News

Godley running back transfers to SAGU Landry Martinez loads up Lions backfield WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University, whose spread option offense has become as d...

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Recruit has earned his stripes

Recruit has earned his stripes

Jun 25, 2012 - Football News

Grandview HS Zebra named All-State Austin Martinez signs to play football and baseball WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Austin Martinez comes to Southwestern Assemblies of God University having...

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Football Lions eager for 2012 season

Football Lions eager for 2012 season

May 15, 2012 - Football News

NAIA lists Pre-Season Football Poll SAGU opens camp on August 13 WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released the 2012 Pre-Season Football Top 25 Coac...

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Football game moved to OPSU

Football game moved to OPSU

Apr 08, 2012 - Football News

Game was to be played at Lumpkins Lions to face Aggies in Goodwell, Oklahoma WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s scheduled football game on Saturday, October 27...

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Football Schedule Announced

Football Schedule Announced

Mar 26, 2012 - Football News

Lions have six home games Homecoming is set for October 13 WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team has announced their 2012 schedule, and it include...

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David Howard: A Prize Catch

David Howard: A Prize Catch

Feb 01, 2012 - Football News

Wide Receiver named to the All-NCCAA team Making a catch in every game during his career, including 30 for TD's WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The National Christian College Athletic Association...

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Football Lions hungry for 2012 season

Football Lions hungry for 2012 season

Dec 26, 2011 - Football News

Unfinished business drives offseason plans Plus, NAIA, NCCAA post-season results WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- After staying in the playoff hunt in both the National Association of Intercollegiate A...

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Kallal named Academic All-American

Kallal named Academic All-American

Dec 17, 2011 - Football News

LB is one of two CSFL players honored ROME, Georgia  --  The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Friday that 244 football student-athletes have been nam...

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