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Phoenix, Arizona- November 1, 2015- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) football team fell to Arizona Christian University (ACU) in what was the Central States Football League (CSFL) championship.  The Firestorm overpowered the Lions 61-30.  SAGU is now 6-3 for the season and 3-2 in the CSFL.  ACU is now 5-3 overall and 5-0 in the CSFL.

“It was definitely a tough loss.  You work all off-season and during the season to play in a conference championship.  Arizona Christian was better prepared and they simply outplayed us,” says head coach Frank Tristan .

Much of the first quarter was promising in SAGU’s favor.  SAGU kicker Chadd Dearen had two back-to-back field goals.  Three minutes into the game Dearen put the Lions on top 3-0 after a 46-yard field goal.  With four minutes left in the first quarter, Dearen kicked a 39-yard field goal to make the score 6-0.

With 25 seconds left in the first quarter, sophomore quarterback Gerrit Groenewold found Donavan Smith for a 57-yard touchdown pass.  The Firestorm took the lead, 7-6.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Dearen struck again with a SAGU-record 54-yard field goal.  The Lions go up 9-7, all nine points coming from Dearen.

In ACU’s next possession, they fumbled on SAGU’s 30-yard line.  SAGU’s Matt Lighter recovered the fumble and ran 70-yards for the touchdown.  The Lions lead, 16-7.   This would be the last time SAGU would have the lead.

ACU was able to answer, and scored a touchdown after a SAGU pass deflection went into the hands of Cules Rose for a 44-yard touchdown run.  Before halftime, ACU was able to score two more touchdowns, going up 27-16.

The second half was dominated by the Firestorm.  They were able to score five more touchdowns, three of which came from SAGU turnovers.

SAGU was able to move the ball down the field better in the second half, but it didn’t always result in touchdowns.  Sophomore quarterback CJ Collins did have a 30-yard touchdown pass to Andrez Brewster and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Moncriffe.

Collins was 22 of 42, passing for 177 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.  Sophomore running back Ricky Bickham had 17 carries for 108 yards.  Sophomore JP Lowery had 17 carries for 70 yards.

Freshman wide receiver Jeremy Carr had five receptions for 30 yards.  Sophomore Toras Hill had four receptions for 25 yards, with a long of 14.

Defensively the Lions were led by junior D’Vonn Brown who had five tackles, four of those for a loss, as well as three sacks.  Senior Jeremiah Maat had seven tackles, with one tackle for loss.  Junior Ethan Eastwood had five tackles and one interception.

ACU’s Groenewold was 16 of 24 for 423 yards.  He had six touchdown passes while only throwing one interception.

The Lions will take a week off before playing their final game of the season against Bacone College .  BC is currently 2-7 overall and 2-2 in the CSFL.  If SAGU is able to top BC, it will be the Lions winningest season on record.

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 or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.
Contact: Natalie Tristan, SAGU SID, [email protected]

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