SAGU builds three 14-point leads, top OPSU Aggies

Defense applies the brakes, Golson, Griffin provide acceleration

Box Score  link below

Click here for CSFL Standings and Schedule

maat-jeremiah-returnWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Led by an opportunistic offense and a bend-but-don’t-break defense, Southwestern Assemblies of God University posted a solid 42-35 victory over Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

The triumph on Homecoming Day saw the Lions build three 14-point leads in a game they never trailed. A festive crowd enjoyed the team's best performance of the season. Weather forecasts were filled with threatening conditions. They never materialized.

Like a firecracker with a lit fuse, they were bound to explode. The struggling offense simply had a longer fuse than observers had noticed.

SAGU, now 3-4 on the season, defeated the NCAA Division II Aggies for a second straight season. Like last year’s 28-27 overtime win in Goodwell, Ok., they earned it.

Following an 0-2 start to the season, SAGU has won of their last five games.

The Purple Pride are 2-1 on the road this fall. After away games at Wayland Baptist University and Texas College over the next two weeks, the Lions close at home against No. 25 ranked Bacone College (6-2).

Credit a team that hadn’t lost their focus and a coaching staff for their attention to detail. 

The Lions deserved high marks in each of the areas that needed attention.

Their Report Card was one that students would be proud to show their parents.

Slow Starting Offense: A+
Play Calling: A
Taking Care of the Football: B+
Forcing Turnovers: A
Reducing Opponents’ Big Plays: B+
Limiting Penalties: A+
benton-runs-vs-opsuSmiles on Homecoming: A+

And the obligatory...
Plays Well with Others: A+

View the Video Hightlights now on Facebook on SAGU Sports Network's fan page!

The Lions started with a bang and didn’t stop until the final horn!

Senior quarterback Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS, Howard Payne Univ), who won the 2012 game with a scoring run, was the ringleader again on Saturday.

He rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another and junior running back Troy Griffin (Houston, Tx / Texas A&M Commerce) blasted across the goal line twice from two yards out.

Linebacker Jeremiah Maat (Slidell, La / Slidell HS) charged 63 yards with a fumble as an active defense made plays all afternoon.

They did allow a lot of yards, but not big plays. The Aggies, who trailed all day, went no huddle in their attack, racking up 490 yards on 84 plays. Their longest gainer was a blown coverage on a 31-yard pass (late in the fourth quarter). In short, SAGU made OPSU work for what they got by forcing long drives

SAGU forced 17 incomplete passes, turned two turnovers into 14 points and stopped the Aggies on downs five times.

Throughout the game it was the Purple Pride who were the aggressors. In the end, OPSU couldn’t keep up or catch up. 

griffin-follows-griffinTheir final four plays, all from their own 37, were incomplete passes by QB Caleb Holbrook. The last gasp was a ‘Hail Mary’ that was batted away near the 15 yard line by sophomore cornerback Shakeem Taylor (Mesquite, Tx / Poteet HS).

Maat (MAHT) scooped up a fumbled pitch by Holbrook; it was tipped towards him by defensive end Ike Caston (Dallas, Tx / A+ Academy HS), and bolted down the left sideline for a 28-14 lead.

The Aggies blocked a Lions punt that set up a four-yard scoring drive just before intermission, and then drove 65 yards to level the score at 28 in third quarter. The TD came when their receivers crossed paths and the secondary got mixed up in their coverage. It allowed a 7-yard pass in the end zone.

Knotted at 28, Golson was at his best.

He engineered an 11-play, 73 yard drive that he finished by dashing up the middle the final 22 yards. Tyler Jenkins (Weatherford, Tx / Weatherford HS) threw a block downfield then helped push Golson across the goal. ))) th

The team converted on three third downs; a short yardage plunge by James Hopkins (Ferris, Tx / Ferris HS, NW Okla State) on third and one, a 17-yard Golson scamper off tackle on another third and one, then a nine yard strike to tight end Caleb Shelly (Cold Spring, Tx / Cold Spring HS) on third and seven at the OPSU 25.

Panhandle State marched to the Lions 14 on their next possession. The drive stalled when the secondary denied short passes on third and fourth downs.

Going for the jugular, Golson answered with an 86-yard march that took 10 plays. He capped it by zipping a perfect crossing pass to Andrez Brewster (El Paso, Tx / Texas A&M Commerce).eastwood-fumble-recovery

He turned the corner and then barreled the final four yards across the goal.

Eddie Morgan, Jr. (Venus, Tx / Venus HS) then recovered an onside kick that surprised most everyone. A sack foiled the drive, but the message was given: we’re going for it!

The defense followed with a text-book display of reluctance. They resisted the will of their guests.

OPSU labored to move 51 yards in 13 plays. They reached the Lions 29 but were turned away again on downs.

The Aggies eventually scored – on a 14-yard pass with 2:18 remaining on the clock. Their attempt to recover an onside kick was foiled by SAGU's Jordan Chavez (Pueblo, Colo / Pueblo HS), who leapt to snare a bouncing kick.

Golson and Griffin milked the clock before handing the ball back at the Aggies 37 with 0:22 showing on the clock. Tight coverage prevented three passes, setting up Holbrook’s final heave.

The deep throw intended for Chance Barlow was broken when Taylor soared to bat the ball out of harm's way.

SAGU finished with 373 yards, of which 235 came on the ground. Griffin and Golson gained 92 apiece. Hopkins added 29 more.

The Lions didn’t pass much, but made them count. Brewster and Shelly each snared three receptions, but it was the first catch of the game that drew the most attention.

Their initial possession was a three-and-out for the Aggies. About to punt by Antonio Mendoza, a tipped snap on a fake punt allowed Dalton Snyder (Ennis, Tx / Ennis HS) and Brodrick Harrel (Livingston, Tx / Livingston HS  to swoop in and bring the punter down at the OPSU 33.

shelly-catch-vs-opsuThe sudden change in field position provoked Offensive Coordinator Frank Tristan to call for a bit of trickeration.

From the pistol, Golson pitched to Venique Benton (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS), who went in motion to his right. He swept outside of the right tackle, stopped, pivoted and threw the ball back to his left to Golson.

He made the grab on the run and dashed 31 yards. Griffin muscled his way to pay dirt on the next play. It was 7-0 and the Harvesters weren’t even finished with the National Anthem.

Panhandle State coughed up the ball on their very next play, a fumbled exchange. It was pounced on by and ‘made the day’ for Ethan Eastwood (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS).

It took Griffin just two plays and 18 yards to strike up Tyrone Block and SAGU the band.

Two TD’s in 27 seconds. It was 14-0 and the game was less than three minutes old.

The defense made plenty of plays, Golson and Griffin kept moving the chains, the Lions were called for just two penalties (OPSU had only three), and Homecoming ended with glad-handing for all in purple and gold.

Three games remain on the schedule, the next two on the road. There is much to play for. The Lions can finish the season with SAGU’s best record ever.

Next Saturday the team plays at Wayland Baptist University. The kickoff is set for 2:00pm.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

NEXT:  Head Coach Jesse Godding’s post-game review

Box Score link:  http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/BoxScores/BoxScores.aspx?association=10&sg=MFB&sea=NAIMFB_2013&team=2272&compID=46087
 

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Listen to Lions on Saturday at 6pm

Sep 28, 2013 - Football News

SSN launches first-ever Audio broadcast SAGU takes on unbeaten Texas Lutheran SEGUIN, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team is on the road again t...

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Few are 'as good as Golson'

Few are 'as good as Golson'

Sep 26, 2013 - Football News

Lions QB is CSFL Offensive Player of the Week Offensive Coordinator Frank Tristan addresses Golson Click Here for CSFL Weekly WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Central States F...

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Lions defense stuffs Haskell, 19-8

Lions defense stuffs Haskell, 19-8

Sep 23, 2013 - Football News

Golson throws TD's to Griffin, Shelly; runs for 122 SAGU plays at Texas Lutheran on Saturday, 6pm LAWRENCE, Kansas  --  Powered by a defense that had five takeaways, the South...

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Lions at Haskell, Saturday, 1pm

Sep 21, 2013 - Football News

LAWRENCE, Kansas  --  The SOuthwestern Assemblies of God University football team takes to the road today against Haskell Indian Nations University. Kickoff is set for 1:00pm (CST). B...

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Lions fade in second half; lose to HPU, 41-27

Lions fade in second half; lose to HPU, 41-27

Sep 15, 2013 - Football News

Third quarter proves costly, 17-7 lead vanishes  SAGU travels to Kansas to play Haskell next week Box Score link below WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies ...

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Lions, Jackets meet Saturday in rubber match

Lions, Jackets meet Saturday in rubber match

Sep 14, 2013 - Football News

Game kicks off at Lumpkins Stadium at 6pm Golson looks to cap career with third win over HPU Click here for GAME DAY PREVIEW WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Two colleges separated by 1...

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Lions build 20-7 lead but fall in opener

Lions build 20-7 lead but fall in opener

Sep 09, 2013 - Football News

Bethany scores final 28 to spoil SAGU debut Defense shines early, delivering big hits MIDLOTHIAN, Texas  --  What started with much promise after gaining a 20-7 lead ended with So...

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Football Lions make Season Debut

Football Lions make Season Debut

Sep 07, 2013 - Football News

Battle of big-play offenses expected SAGU vs. Bethany College play at Midlothian at noon Click here to view a 13-page GAME DAY PREVIEW WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The much-anticipa...

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Football opener moves to Midlothian

Football opener moves to Midlothian

Aug 21, 2013 - Football News

Media coverage of athletics expands SAGU-Bethany College kickoff set for noon WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football home opener has changed...

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Training camp looms large for Lions

Training camp looms large for Lions

Aug 08, 2013 - Football News

Offense returns eight starters; defense has nine Fans urged to 'Like' new Facebook page, follow Twitter feed WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of football preseason camp fo...

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Triple-digits await Lions on Monday

Triple-digits await Lions on Monday

Aug 06, 2013 - Football News

A carniverous defense likely to lead the Pride Seniors Johnson, Evers play key leadership roles  WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  When daybreaks next Monday, August 12, triple-digits c...

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Fans vote on Top 25 NAIA football teams

Fans vote on Top 25 NAIA football teams

Jul 12, 2013 - Football News

Victory Sports Network launches new poll Pre-Season Fan Poll deadline on July 31 WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- The start of the 2013 college football season is eight weeks away. Fans, however...

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Football schedule has changes

Football schedule has changes

Jun 28, 2013 - Football News

Same 11 opponents, but four game dates adjusted Langston, Bacone College games switch places WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Following a recent meeting of athletic leaders within the Centr...

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Nick Ekanem: Had What it 'Takes'

Nick Ekanem: Had What it 'Takes'

Jun 26, 2013 - Football News

Senior Spotlight on SAGU All-American After Four years of take-aways, Nick gives back  WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The athletic career of Nick Ekanem didn’t take the road le...

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