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Waxahachie, Texas - September 3, 2017—The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Lions Football team opened the season in high fashion with a 63-34 victory over Howard Payne University (HPU) at Lumpkins Stadium Saturday night. Junior quarterback CJ Collins was on the field for the first time since his season-ending injury a year ago and threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior defensive back Carl Morgan put SAGU on the board first with a 25-yard pick six and the scoring frenzy began for SAGU. SAGU scored 28 points in the opening quarter. Senior running back JP Lowery scored on four yard handoff from CJ Collins and senior running back Ricky Bickham carried the ball in for a 35-yard touchdown. SAGU’s other score was a CJ Collins 45-yard pass to Roderick Brown with 4:45 left in the first quarter.

Head Football Coach, Frank Tristan, was pleased with the way his team played Saturday night. Tristan said, “Our seniors really set the tone for the game tonight. I thought they gave great effort and came up with big plays at critical points in the ball game.”

HPU offense was sparked in the second quarter out-scoring SAGU 20-7 but SAGU would regain some fire scoring three touchdowns after the halftime break. Bickham carried the ball in for two touchdowns (10 and six yards) and Lowery scored on a two yard run with one second remaining to close out the scoring for SAGU in the third quarter.

The offensive attack was steady for the Lions. JP Lowery rushed for 167 yards on 16 carries for two touchdowns. Ricky Bickham carried the ball five times for 85 yards and three touchdowns. Roderick Brown led the receiving core for SAGU with 135 yards on six catches and two touchdowns. Jeremy Carr had one touchdown for SAGU coming in the form of a 60-yard pass from CJ Collins.

Defensively, SAGU was led by senior defensive back Matt Williams with 10 tackles, Elijah Pruitt(Sr. DB) had six tackles and sophomore defensive lineman Darnell Martin had seven tackles. SAGU’s one interception came from Morgan in the first quarter and resulted in the first score of the season for the Lions.

Sophomore kicker Tluang Hmung had five touchbacks and was a perfect eight-for-eight in PAT’s.

The Lions haven’t scored this many points since SAGU beat Haskell Indian College in 2008 in a 66-14 victory.

SAGU will play at Lumpkins Stadium next Saturday, September 9th against East Texas Baptist University. The game is set to start at 7:00 PM.  
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 www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

 
 
 
 
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