Lions, Jackets meet Saturday in rubber match
Game kicks off at Lumpkins Stadium at 6pm
Golson looks to cap career with third win over HPU
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Two colleges separated by 150 miles are meeting Saturday night for the fifth time. Each has won twice in the series.
Both Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Howard Payne University enter the clash having dropped their season opener. Lumpkins Stadium (cap. 9,500) will host the Lions and Yellow Jackets at 6:00pm (CST).
The winner tonight in the rubber match will be the squad that can successfully ‘bounce’ back and avoid an 0-2 start.
SAGU Sports Live will broadcast the game on-line in High Definition. Viewers should visit the SAGU website at www.sagu.edu and then click on the Watch SAGU TV button, followed by Live Events. There is no charge for fans.
A LiveStats webcast will also be available. It is a text version of the play-by-play account of the game and supplies team and individual statistics in real-time.
Paste the following link into your your web browser: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10, then locate the game on the screen. This service is free of charge.
The Lions started well in their opener, building a 20-7 lead in the second quarter against Bethany College (Ks). Amid the good were three missed opportunities after gaining outstanding field position.
That allowed the Swedes to dodge a knockout punch after their starting QB was injured (he is out for the season). An 84-yard punt return for a touchdown pulled them to within 20-14 at the half.
After intermission they committed to the ground game and found success with two long, scoring drives. Coupled with the Lions offense producing three-and-outs, Bethany went on to post a 35-20 triumph.
Howard Payne got out of the gate slowly in their home debut. Trinity University, behind a balanced attack, seized control at the half, 28-7. The Jackets’ passing game then came to life but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers posted a 47-29 win in Brownwood, Texas.
Saturday’s game could propel the winner into salvaging their season goals.
SAGU’s passing game sputtered due to drops, four penalties on first down, and misfires. As for the ground game, it started well before stalling.
The Lions averaged about 350 yards per game a year ago. Last week they were limited to 177.
The key against the Jackets will be how well the offensive line protects senior QB Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Howard Payne Univ., Grandview HS) and block for running backs James Hopkins (Ferris, Tx / Northwest Oklahoma State) and Troy Griffin (Houston, Tx / Texas A&M Commerce).
Golson has a 2-0 record against his former team. Last fall he completed 16 of 24 attempts for 233 yards and one TD.
In 2011 he rallied the team from a last minute deficit with a thrilling comeback. He came off the bench to hit 5-of-11 passes and ran for 83 yards and the game-winner in the final twenty seconds.
He will be a marked man on Saturday. How well he involves some talented receivers; senior Trevor McKinley (Arlington, Tx / Seguin HS), junior Jeremy McDonald (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) and freshman Venique Benton (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) could spell the difference.
Howard Payne (NCAA Division III) is coming off back-to-back 1-9 seasons.
Redshirt freshman QB Richard Young was good on 24 of 40 tosses for 274 yards, four scores and zero interceptions. WR Colby Mica (MICK-ah) and slot-back Astin Murray had six and five catches respectively.
Their rushing leader was Zarron Dove, who starred at Ennis High School. He gained 56 yards on 4.7 per tote.
The Lions will counter with a pair of defensive starters, also from Ennis, in LB Dalton Snyder and his brother Dylan, who plays at safety.
SAGU yielded 325 while HPU allowed 457. Both teams permitted over 200 on the ground.
Converting on third downs and preventing turnovers should figure into determining who levels their record at 1-1.
The Lions will be on the road the next three Saturdays.
The Series: 2009: HPU 23-17 at Waxahachie. 2010: HPU 32-7 at Brownwood, Tx. 2011: SAGU 21-15 at Midlothian, Tx. 2012: SAGU 27-17 at Brownwood, Tx.