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Waxahachie, TX

August 23, 2018 | Blake Cochran

Welcome to the start of the season for your Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) football team. The Lions, respectively, ranked preseason #22 traveled to Springfield, MO for the first college football game of the year, for any division, to take on the Evangel University Crusaders. The Crusaders who received national votes came out on top Thursday night, 28-9.

This highly anticipated game was all defense until the 4:32 mark of the first quarter when Evangel’s Jarsen Acklin caught a 40 yard shot from quarterback Cameron Hardesty making the score 7-0. Before that, the game started with the first 5 possessions all resulting in punts. The first quarter ended in a score of 7-0.

To start the 2nd quarter SAGU’s Gus Wright was on the field to punt on a 4th and 16 situation but was quickly called back due to a penalty from Evangel. In a tough 4th and 1 call, the Lions handed the ball off to Darion Carter for a 3 yard run to give them new life. 18 yards later and driving well putting the Lions in Evangel’s territory. The Lions, on a vital 3rd and 9 play, fumbled and ended their possession. SAGU had a great defensive stop forcing Evangel to punt and not gain any yards for their time with the ball. Back to back good possessions and looking for their first points of the season, on a 4th and 2 punt, Wright’s kick was blocked by the Crusader Jacob Eden, they immediately recovered the ball and took it to the Lion’s end zone to put them up 14-0. The first half ended with a score of 21-3.

The 3rd quarter was just like the start of the game, all defense. SAGU’s very own Ethan Cook gathered an interception from Cameron Hardesty, and Keandre Belcher ended the next possession with a sack to a steady growing defensive force. All defense kept the game still at a 21-3 deficit.

Offensively, Samuel Northey had a stellar game scoring a touchdown and catching many passes from CJ Collins. Coach Ryan Smith said Northey,”played well.” The Lions dropped the first game of the season 28-9 looking to get back on the right track next Saturday at 1pm in Sherman, TX against Austin College.

More words from Coach Smith on tonight’s game “We didn’t do a well job of executing on offense. We had bright spots but couldn’t put anything together consistently enough to be successful on offense. Defensively, we played really well but got tired late. Some bright spots were freshman, Christian Cross, who had an interception tonight. Proud of our guy’s effort and the way they supported each other. We will grow from this and continue to move forward as a team! This will just be a growing pain that will cause us to mature and we will be better for it!”

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at

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