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Third quarter proves costly, 17-7 lead vanishes 

SAGU travels to Kansas to play Haskell next week

Box Score link below

golson-leaps-hpu-defenderWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (0-2) built a ten-point lead in the first half and the offensive rushing attack had one of their best games, but it wasn’t enough as the Lions fell to Howard Payne University, 41-27, at home on Saturday night.

The visiting Yellow Jackets (1-1) came to life in the second half to outscore the Lions, 34-10.

SAGU’s offense got their running game going, picking up 333 yards, picking up 6.7 yards per carry. Three ball-carriers gained 90 yards or more in the process.

Momentum changed hands dramatically in the third quarter when the offense sputtered out of the blocks. On four straight possessions, three of them starting at the SAGU 43, 45 and at midfield, the offense produced no first downs.

Two drives ended with punts on fourth-and-two and fourth-and-one, the other two when the team coughed up the ball on fumbles. One of them saw the Lions lose the ball on a run, then recover it, only to have the second player fumble the ball back to the Jackets.

The offense ran just nine plays in the four possessions, gaining 35 yards.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets, held to seven points and 148 yards in the first half, mounted their comeback. They capitalized on their good fortune.

The visitors responded with three touchdown drives in the period for a 28-17 lead. Their four possessions in the quarter totaled nine first downs, 27 plays and 197 yards.

Left on the field against the Jackets’ no-huddle scheme, the Lions defense wore down. Three penalties against them kept drives alive. On two of the scoring drives SAGU stopped fourth down gambles only to be cited for a penalty that negated incomplete passes.

Freshman quarterback Richard Young had a big night against a patchwork secondary that has lost three starters in two weeks. He finished with 18 completions in 30 attempts for 267 yards and five touchdowns. He threw for four TD's last week. Young did not throw an interception for the second game in a row.

In fact, Howard Payne didn’t have a single turnover and just two penalties, none after halftime.

SAGU’s ‘Sod Squad’ had a huge game. It was the most yards on the ground since the 364 the Purple Pride gained last year at Haskell University.

Senior QB Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS, Howard Payne Univ) led the charge with 107-yards on 16 carries and one TD. He connected on 12 of 22 throws for 124 yards.

Sophomores Troy Griffin (Houston, Tx / Texas A&M Commerce) and James Hopkins (Ferris, Tx / Ferris HS, Northwest Oklahoma State) churned for 99 and 90 yards on 10 and 17 attempts, respectively.

Carvon Culton (Dallas, Tx / Molina HS) had five carries for another 25.

The passing game has yet to get in sync. Trevor McKinley (Arlington, Tx / Seguin HS) led with four catches for 19 yards. Dylan Moore (Denton, Tx / Guyer HS) latched onto a 47-yard bomb, the only pass to gain 20 yards or more in two games.

His reception set up a seven-yard scoring run by Hopkins to give the Lions a 17-7 lead late in the second quarter.

James Gish (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) got the Lions on the board with a 33-yard field goal.

The defense followed with a goal line stand from the SAGU one yard line. Griffin bolted up the middle for 57 yards on the next play to spark a nine-play, 99-yard march. Hopkins capped the drive with a 16-yard dash for a 10-7 lead.

SAGU drew to within 28-20 early in the fourth on a 25-yard boot by Gish. After reaching the Jackets eight-yard line, the drive stalled on two incomplete passes.

The teams traded scores the rest of the way. Golson led the Jungle Kings on a 75-yarder, topping it off with a scamper from the two with 8:22 to go. The Lions trailed 35-27.

Needing a stop for a chance to tie the game, SAGU allowed a 10-play, 75-yard, time consuming trip that produced six first downs. Freshman Zarron Dove, who rushed for 150 yards, collected the last two to ice the game with 3:40 remaining.

Linebackers Dalton Snyder (Ennis, Tx / Ennis HS) and Kendal Evers (Danbury, Tx / Danbury HS) collected 13 and 10 tackles for the SAGU defense. Senior lineman Ike Caston (Dallas, Tx / A+ Academy) added nine stops.

Offensively the Lions had 457 yards (201 in the second half), their most since 581 against Haskell in 2011.

Howard Payne registered 510 yards, 358 after intermission.

Highlights of the game will be posted on the SAGU Sports Network fan page on Facebook this week.

Plus, hundreds of photos will be available at:

ON DECKLions at Haskell University, Sept. 21

The Lions will take to the road for the next three weeks, starting with a September 21 trip to Lawrence, Kansas. They will take on Haskell University (0-3) at 1:00pm.

SAGU's next home game is set for October 12 against Langston University.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at

Box Score: Click on the blue block to the right of the score for detailed statistics and the complete play-by-play of the game.

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