Sam Houston State had three touchdowns called back due to penalties but was still able to pull the 38-21 victory over Abilene Christian on Saturday at Bowers Stadium.
The Bearkats now improve to 3-1 in the Southland Conference, recovering from a loss last week to Northwestern State.
“We just put it behind us and kept on working,” head coach K.C. Keeler said. “We had the best week of practice since I’ve been here. We’re getting better every day.”
The Kats started the game with an impressive 75-yard drive that led to a four-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Keshawn Hill. Hill tacked on an extra six points to his name with a one-yard run right before the first half ended.
The Kats’ defense posted two touchdowns on ACU. Eric Agbaroji had a 28-yard interception returned with 10:00 left in the second quarter then A.J Davis scooped a fumble and brought it 27 yards to the house. The Bearkats forced two more turnovers before the end of the game.
Penalties hindered SHSU from routing the Wildcats by an even larger margin. Josh Reynolds had a long reception in the first half called back. The Kats then had back-to-back touchdowns called back on a punt return followed by a long sophomore quarterback Jared Johnson rushing touchdown.
“We talk all the time about playing cleaner,” Keeler said. “We clean up those little details and we’ll be good.”
SHSU will head to Houston next Saturday against rival Stephen F. Austin State. SFA defeated Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday 27-10.
Kickoff for the Battle of the Piney Woods is set for 3 p.m. at NRG Stadium.