Bearkats look to ‘trick’ Demons for Halloween ‘treat’

The Sam Houston State Bearkats are attending a Halloween party dressed tonight dressed as an underdog.When the Kats travel to Natchitoches, La., to take on the third ranked team in the nation, the Northwestern State Demons, in front of a nationally televised audience, they will try to pull off an upset. The game comes on just four days rest from last Saturday’s game. SHSU was unable to recover from 33-second half points last week against the No. 2 ranked McNeese State Cowboys as the Bearkats fell 47-10 at Bowers Stadium. “I’m not at all sure that it is such a bad thing to have a short week because it gives us less time to dwell on the McNeese game and gets us focused on the next one,” said Ron Randleman, SHSU head coach. “This late in the season we should be able to prepare with a short week. We’ll see with how we play Thursday night.”The Bearkats were unable to get much production out of its offense against the Cowboys despite being down 14-10 at halftime. Four costly turnovers by the Bearkat offense enabled the Cowboys to pull away. The Cowboys scored 23 points in the third quarter to help seal the game. Freshman Steve Smith continued to improve the Bearkat running attack by carrying the ball 15 times for 84-yards and a touchdown. Coach Randleman would like to give Smith the ball more this week.”I would like to see him carry it at least 20 times,” Randleman said. “I don’t know how many times he will carry it, but we would like to see it in his hands 20 times a game.”A two-headed monster running attack-featuring sophomores Derrick Johnese and Shelton Sampson leads the Demons offense. Johnese and Sampson rank second and fifth in the Conference in rushing, respectively. Senior quarterback Kevin Magee is the Conference’s leading passer and has thrown for over 1,100-yards and 11 touchdowns. The Demons squeaked out a come-from-behind victory over the 22nd ranked Nicholls State Colonels when Sampson was able to find the end zone with 1:53 left in the fourth quarter.”They have a veteran defense that has a lot of quickness and on offense they have two big backs that they will try to pound you with,” Randleman said about Northwestern State’s team. “To win over there we will need a positive turnover ratio and play with great, great effort.”The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest as the third installment of a four game Southland Conference package for the 2002 season. This game marks the 10th time in school history that the Bearkats participated in a regionally televised game, and the Bearkats have greatly benefited with a 6-3 record in these contests. Last year’s victory over Stephen F. Austin drew the largest home television audience in Conference history. Kick off is set for 7:05 p.m. tonight.

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