After being tagged the 25th best team in the nation, the Sam Houston State Bearkats football team came out flat last Thursday, falling 38-30 to future SLC Conference Central Arkansas at Bowers Stadium.
Sam Houston committed four turnovers and seven penalties on a cool night in Huntsville.
Although Kats’ quarterback Brett Hicks threw for 299 yards, he also had three interceptions. D.D. Terry had yet another terrific game for the Kats, running for 139 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Even Brandon Perry had a big game with 137 yards on six receptions.
The problem was indeed the defense in this game. The Kats surrendered 389 yards of offense and allowed the Bears to chew up 35:54 of the contest.
Things couldn’t have begun any better for Sam Houston.
On their second possession, the Kats marched right down the field and scored the opening touchdown when Terry ran it in from one yard out. However, like most of the season, the Kats were deflated when Taylor Wilkins missed poorly on the extra point. Midway through the second quarter, the Kats turned in one of their most exciting plays of the season when Derrick Harris made a highlight-reel punt return into a 90-yard touchdown.
On the play Harris fumbled the catch, picked it up and then made several moves along the home sideline on his way to making it a 13-0 Kats advantage.
From there it looked as if the Kats were on their way to their third consecutive win. That’s when everything took a disastrous wrong direction.
Central Arkansas answered Harris’ big score with a a long drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Brown to Charle Twilley.
Sam Houston’s next drive saw Hicks get hit and the ball bounce up in the air and intercepted by the Bears’ Ryan Taylor and returned 20 yard for a score.
The play was huge as far as momentum was concerned and it left the Kats’ wondering what happened in a matter of minutes.
Sam Houston will have to put this one behind them considering they pick up SLC action again this Saturday when they host McNeese State at 6 p.m. The contest is also Parents Weekend.
McNeese is coming off a 20-17 win over Stephen F. Austin and are 3-4, 1-1 on the season.
After Saturday’s game, the Bearkats will play road games against SFA and Southeastern.