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SAGU breaks through for 3 second half TD's

Offensive Coordinator addresses five key components to Lions' big win 

benton-veniqueWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Don’t blame Frank Tristan for being as happy as a boy with a slingshot in a heaven of greenhouses.

The second year Offensive Coordinator at Southwestern Assemblies of God University had reason to smile after the way the Lions offense played in the second half on Saturday.

Trailing 10-0 at intermission, SAGU rallied behind an efficient offensive attack for an impressive 21-10 victory over Oklahoma Baptist University.

SAGU, now 2-2 on the season, is tied with Texas College atop the Central States Football League with a 1-0 conference record.

Expectations were high for Coach Tristan’s offense in 2013. They returned nine starters from the 2012 squad who averaged 341 yards on offense (152 rushing, 189 passing) and scored 24 points per game.

This year the Pride has struggled when they have the ball, primarily after halftime. Scoring is slightly down at 22 ppg.

Until Saturday the unit had one touchdown and a pair of field goals in the second half in the first three games combined. They rolled for 21 points after recess against OBU.

Total offense through four games is at 321 (197 rushing / 124 passing).

The most obvious hinderance  has been turnovers. The Lions have already equaled last season’s total of fumbles lost with nine, several of them without being forced.

The passing attack, which has gained 65 less yards than in 2012, has tossed just two interceptions. Last fall the Lions coughed up the ball on nine fumbles while tossing 13 picks.

After returning from Shawnee, a drive of 230 miles, Coach Tristan commented on the Lions offense.

Comment on Dylan Moore, the junior WR:

FT:   Dylan played outstanding! He made several key catches. Not only were they impressive catches but they were at critical times.

He played with the same confidence and focus last week and he has been playing that way in practice the last few weeks as well.

Coach (Jason) Gossett really pushes the WR's and Dylan is rising to the challenge.

What about the success of the direct snaps to James Hopkins? Is that our version of the ‘Wildcat’?

FT:   That set is called the "unbalanced single wing."  Our front line really blocked well and James was patient and, like always, ran really hard.

James has a great ability to see the open space and accelerate through it. The big difference yesterday was he really finished his runs. He was more physical than the guys tackling him.

Tell us about the End Around Pass of Venique Benton to Josh Goodwin:

FT:   We’ve practiced that play for two weeks in preparation for the right moment. Our coaches in the press box had great timing on that call.

Then the guys executed it, which is the most important and most difficult thing to do.

We’re real proud of Venique for being ready and giving Josh a chance to make a play.

And Josh delivered. He made a great adjustment to the ball and produced a huge play!

What was the key to the offense in the second half?

FT:   OBU had a great game plan and really took away our zone (running) game. But our guys were able to adjust at halftime and execute a different plan with great effort.

I am very proud of our guys' football acumen and their willingness to 'stay the course.'

OBU has a great defense and our guys really showed perseverance in competing against that type of team.

With that being said, the most important thing is that Coach (John) Allen and our defense kept the game close while we struggled. They didn't let up.

What made Reid Golson so effective after intermission?

FT:   Once again he was able to make adjustments and he never lost focus.

I am extremely proud of how he handled himself in the first half (no points, three turnovers). He could have easily gotten real frustrated and tried forcing things that weren't there.

That senior maturity and confidence really kicked in during the second half.

On Deck:   Langston on October 12

For the first time since 2004, SAGU will play host to Langston University at Lumpkins Stadium. The October 12, 2:00pm (CST) kickoff pits the Lions against the LU Lions, the latter of whom was the pre-season pick to win the Central States Football League.

The game will be broadcast on HD video by SAGU Sports Live, starting with the pre-game show at 1:45pm.

Langston will bring an 0-4 record into the game.

Do not be deceived, as each of their opponents have been members of the NCAA's FBS - Football Bowl Subdivision (120 members), which used to be called Division I-A or Division I-AA.

The visiting Lions are known for outstanding defense, and this year should be no exception. In 2012 they held SAGU off for a 21-7 win in Langston, Oklahoma.

This will be Langston's fifth road game of the season.

A complete preview of the game will be posted on Friday on the SAGU Athletic website.

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

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