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SAGU now 2-2 after second big road victory

Moore lifts offense; Howeth, Caston, Johnson lead defensive charge

Stats Link  (at the bottom)

caston-evers-rush-qbSHAWNEE, Oklahoma  --  After a slow start, Southwestern Assemblies of God University rose to the occasion with a rash of big plays en route to an impressive 21-10 victory over Oklahoma Baptist University.

Trailing 10-0 to the upstart Bison, conditions were perfect for the hosts; mild fall weather, a sun-splashed sky and an overflow crowd of over 4,900 at Eddie Hurt Stadium. Combined with a late first half score also gave OBU the momentum too.

SAGU, who led by double digits in each of their first three contests only to struggle after halftime, dominated the final two quarters. They outscored OBU 21-0 and had a 12-6 margin in first downs after intermission.

Wide receiver Dylan Moore (Denton, Tx / Guyer HS), at 6'2 220-lbs, made four receptions, three of them in the clutch. One was a bounding jump in the end zone for a TD, the other a spectacular solo stab to set-up the clinching touchdown.

One constant was the aggressive play of the defense. They allowed an early eight-play, 80-yard TD drive, then nothing else.

Defensive Coordinator John Allen's unit was carniverous and as tight as a size nine shoe on a size twelve foot.

The Bison's only other score, a field goal as time expired in the second quarter, came a play after the Lions lost a fumble inside their five yard line.

Unlike previous weeks, the Purple Pride took the game to the opponent on offense and defense after recess.

Like waking up to the sounds of the school bus horn, the Lions roared early and often in the second half.

The third quarter began with seniors D.J. Johnson (Detroit, Mich / Springfield Parkview HS) and Ike Caston (Dallas, Tx / A+ Academy) stuffing a fake punt. Nine plays later James Hopkins (Ferris, Tx / Ferris HS, NW Okla. State Univ) barreled two yards to cap a 41-yard drive to draw within 10-7.

The defense, which held OBU to 89 yards in the second stanza, forced a punt. They then coaxed a turnover on the Bison’s next possession.

golson-runs-by-obuJeff Howeth (Dallas, Tx / Highland Park HS) jarred the ball loose from RB Darryl Fields while CB Shakeem Taylor (Mesquite, Tx / Poteet HS) scooped it up in Bison territory.

Perhaps the play of the game occurred next.

QB Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx / Grandview HS, Howard Payne Univ) pitched the ball to wingback Venique Benton (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS), who started the play in motion.

Benton, a former QB at Waxahachie HS, rolled to his right, and then fired a deep pass to 6’3 freshman wide receiver Josh Goodwin (Montgomery, Tx / Montgomery HS).

His 38-yard catch set up a touchdown pass from Golson to Moore from four yards out.

Moore ran an out pattern to the left, then leapt to snare a high ball from Golson. The scoreboard revealed there was 12:49 left to play. SAGU laid claim to the lead at 14-10. They would not relinquish it.

Oklahoma Baptist punted after a three-and-out when DE Harry Ford (Thibodaux, La / Thibodaux HS) stopped OBU QB Cale Grauer (pronounced like power) on third down. The Lions did not allow a single drive that started on the OBU end of the field to cross the 50 after halftime.

Jeremy McDonald (San Antonio, Tx / Cornerstone Christian) and the punt return team responded with a huge return.

Hobbled all season, the junior fielded a 46-yard punt, went up field, then dashed to the right sideline and turned on the jets. The last defender ended the play at the OBU 38, a runback of 43 yards.

The Lions were hungry for 'more.' Literally.

On a critical third-and-fifteen play, Golson rolled left and fired for Moore along the sideline. Covered, he shielded the defender with his body and made an astonishing one-handed, 17-yard grab of a ball that was over his head.

Fully extended, he reeled in the ball like a hawk snatches its prey in midair.

Hopkins darted 12 yards after taking a direct snap from center R.J. Adame (Keller, Tx / Central HS). Then, on third and goal from the six, Golson dashed to his right, pulled up and feathered a spiral to 6-foot-4 tight end Caleb Shelly (Cold Spring, Tx / Cold Spring HS) in the back of the end zone. There was 7:50 remaining.

A solid kickoff return and a personal foul penalty gave OBU possession in SAGU territory.  Allen's defense would not budge. They collared the Bison on downs at the Lions 37.

Golson and the offense, which had managed only 13 second half points in the first three games, went for the jugular.

Needing to drain the clock and move the chains, SAGU executed both as well as any hopes of an OBU comeback.

The Pride proceeded to march 12 plays, all on the ground, and gained four first downs before Golson took a knee just yards from the OBU goal line.

Coach Godding dishes praise

“It was a very gratifying effort by our team,” said Head Coach Jesse Godding. “We were slow out of the gate, and, despite three turnovers in the first half, we were only down 10-0.”

“The fake punt was big. OBU had also been struggling in the second half of all of their games. In fact, they had the lead at the half in each game.”

“So I think they were trying to get something going with that call.”

He praised the play of many, starting with the effort of Hopkins, a junior tailback. “He’s a fine young man and he has been getting better every week.”

The performances of Golson, Moore, the offensive line and then the defense, who made plays all day, were just some of those the coach singled out after the game.

“We didn’t click much on offense in September,” he said, “but the guys kept working hard, knowing they could do better. Today they were a cohesive unit and Reid was in control of the attack.”

“We’re 2-2 (overall) as well as 1-0 in the CSFL. This puts us in position to make the next six games really matter.”

Winning by the numbers

SAGU finished with 18 first downs and 274 yards, while permitting just 12 and 212 yards.

The Bison managed only 89 yards after intermission, picking up just 3.5 per play.

Howeth led the charge with 11 tackles. Linebackers Jeremiah Maat (Slidell, La / Slidell HS) and Kendal Evers (Danbury, Tx / Danbury HS) each made eight stops, while Johnson, Caston and Dalton Snyder (Ennis, Tx / Ennis HS) turned in seven apiece.

Sophomore Trevor Van Kempen (Henderson, Nev / Mtn View Christian) registered his first career interception.

On offense, Moore latched onto four passes and gained 49 yards. Hopkins was more efficient than magnificent with 60 yards on 20 carries. His bursts continually produced positive yardage and he protected the ball.

Two plays that can’t be forgotten came in the scoring drive in the third quarter.

On a second and 16 situation, Offensive Coordinator Frank Tristan called for an end around pitch to McDonald. Reading blocks superbly, he cut inside, the swerved right, zooming 19 yards to the OBU 18.

Three plays later on third and 12, Golson, who completed 11-of-21 for 91, scrambled for 17 yards to the three. It set the table for Hopkins’ third TD of the year.

SAGU is now tied with Texas College, both at 1-0 in the CSFL.  For the complete standings, visit:

October 12: Langston at SAGU

Next week the Lions play host to Langston University, the pre-season pick to win the conference title. LU hasn’t played in Lumpkins Stadium since 2004.

Kickoff is set for 2:00pm (CST). The game will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live. The pregame show begins at approximately 1:50pm.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

PLUS: An interview with Frank Tristan will appear on Monday.

Photo Credit: Special Thanks to the OBU Sports Information Office for the above photo.

Box Score and Play-by-Play of the SAGU-OBU game:

Click on the blue square to the right of the webcast symbol: (((W))) to access the Play-by-Play.

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