Bearkats survive a scare

The Bearkats braved the weather Saturday night, and after struggling through a sub-par performance in the first half, Sam Houston came away with a 26-23 victory over the Midwestern State Indians.The Kats used a five-minute surge in the second half to take control of the game. The three touchdowns in that period of time gave SHSU the momentum and the boost they had been looking for all seasonTrailing 14-3 with less than four minutes to play in the third quarter, the SHSU offense, which had struggled all night long, faced a fourth and eight from the 31-yard line. Quarterback Vance Smith found Vincent Cartwright for the touchdown, and after Joey Price’s extra point kick, the Kats were within four points of the Indians at 14-10.”That was a good call by coach (Jim) Ferguson (offensive coordinator); that touchdown got us going,” Bearkat coach Ron Randleman said.On SHSU’s next possession, sophomore Corey Zeno gave the Kats the lead on a 12-yard reverse as time expired in the third period.The third big play of the night for SHSU came on special teams. The Bearkat defense forced the Indians to punt after three plays; junior DeJuan Davis broke free to block Toby Zachary’s punt. Red shirt freshman Jackie Brown scooped up the football and sprinted 11 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, putting the Kats up 23-14.”I got through there (the offensive line) and DeJuan got through there before me and blocked it,” Brown said. “I picked it up and ran like I should have. Right when I got into the end zone, my heart started beating faster and faster. It was great.”The Kats however could not put the Indians away.Midwestern cut the lead to three on a seven play, 75-yard drive capped by a four-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Boggs to Terrance Moore.Sam Houston’s next possession ended poorly for the Kats, giving the Indians an opportunity to take back control of the game.For the second time in the game, deep snapper Patrick Holland sent a snap over punter Cody Reeves’ head to the SHSU 11-yard line. The Kats defense would not let the Indians into the end zone, forcing them to settle for a 23-23 tie on kicker Jerry Holstrom’s 25-yard field goal.The Kats answered quickly to the Midwestern run, using seven plays to set up Price’s 37-yard field goal with 4:05 remaining to give SHSU the lead for good.Smith, who struggled in the first half completed 11 of 19 second half passes for 139 yards to get the Bearkat offense back on track. In the first half, Smith completed just four of 14 passes for 27 yards.”I let the guys down out there in the first half,” Smith said. ” You can’t blame anything on the weather, because they’re (Midwestern State) playing in it too.”I came in at halftime and I told the guys, ‘we’re pressing right now; I’m pressing, the o-line is pressing and the receivers are pressing. Let’s let the flow of the game come to us.’ I took a deep breath, relaxed and came out and decided we were going to do it.”With the passing game spending much of the game struggling, running backMaurice Harris rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries, while Robert Sanders, a transfer from Kansas, picked up 40 yards on 11 carries.”We were able to make a lot of first downs on the ground (11 of 20), and we had to because we just weren’t throwing the ball very well,” Randleman said. “I think we’ll find our offensive line did a pretty good job.”Midwestern State was led by running back Jerrod Fuqua, who piled up 174 yards on the ground while scoring two touchdowns. Fuqua had the run of the game, going 74 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give the Indians a 14-3 lead.Randleman said the Kats have a long way to go, before they are where they would like to be, but the second half burst by the team gives something build on.”I thought we showed a real spark for a period of time in the second half on offense, defense and special teams,” Randleman said. “It was by far the best we’ve looked all year.”

Leave a Reply