The SAGU football team defeated the #10 team in the NAIA, Arizona Christian University (ACU), 43-6. The Lions moved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in Central States Football League (CSFL) play. This is the first time that ACU lost in conference play since joining the CSFL in 2015.
The SAGU defense was able to jumpstart the game by recovering an ACU fumble in the red zone after a long drive by ACU. SAGU took over and scored on their first drive of the game with a JP Lowery 2-yard touchdown run to cap their drive. After the initial SAGU score, the two teams battled back and forth defensively until the 13:49 mark in the 2nd quarter when junior quarterback CJ Collins hit Justin Allen for a 76 yard touchdown pass.
SAGU scored two more times in the first half, both coming on passes from CJ Collins. Collins hit Roderick Brown with a 42-yard pass and connected with Justin Allen again; this time on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Defensively, SAGU held ACU scoreless in the first half. Senior Matt Williams had eight tackles, Landon Jones and Coby Roach had seven tackles, Jordaan Coleman pitched in with five tackles to lead SAGU. The SAGU defense was big, forcing two fumbles and two interceptions on the Firestorm. Senior Carl Morgan and freshman Michael Mast each had an interception.
The SAGU offense garnered 503 total yards today, 206 on the ground and 297 in the air. CJ Collins was 18 of 25 on pass attempts and accounted for three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Justin Allen had a big day for Lions. Allen had six catches going for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running backs JP Lowery and Ricky Bickham rushed for 98 and 88 yards, respectively.
Tluang Hmung had four extra points and made three field goals with a long of 36 yards coming at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The win over ACU was something the Lions have worked hard for. Senior offensive lineman Devo McNeal explained the team’s emotions after the game, “This was a huge win for the SAGU football program. This week our coaches prepared us for this game and got us ready to play to our full potential. The offense executed well today and our defense played fast and forced some big turnovers.”
SAGU Head Coach Frank Tristan was pleased with his ball club after the game and knows the significance of a win of this nature for the program, “Our guys played well in all phases today. Offensively, we executed. Special teams paid great attention to detail, and defensively, we did not give up the big play. I am extremely proud of our seniors today and the leadership they provided. CJ (Collins) was really accurate today, and Justin Allen came up big for us.”