No. 1 Bearkats Inch Closer to Championship, Prepare for Struggling Demons

The Southland Conference championship race is heating up with only two games left to play.

The Sam Houston State football survived a scare last week against the defending conference champions, defeating the McNeese State Cowboys 56-43. The Bearkats will now head to Natchitoches, LA. on Saturday to play a struggling Northwestern State Demons team. The Demons hold an overall record of 1-8, and are winless in conference play.

NWSU has been in some close games this season, but just haven’t done enough to win the close battles. The Bearkats know they cannot overlook the Demons this week just because of their record. They also can’t look ahead to the Nov. 19 game against the University of Central Arkansas, which is looking like it’ll be a de facto Southland Conference championship game.

“This is not one we can overlook, it is a classic trap game,” head coach K.C. Keeler said. “We are on the road, against a lesser opponent. Everyone knows that next week’s game is for the conference championship, so you cannot go there. We need to worry about playing Northwestern State.”

Northwestern State is going to try to run the ball against the Bearkats in order to limit the Bearkats’ time of possession on offense. The Demons like to use a three headed attack at running back to keep the opponent off balance.

Each of the three Demon running backs are averaging at least six yards per carry. The Demons’ top back though is senior De’Mard Llorens.

He leads the team with 663 rushing yards and six touchdowns this season. The number two back is sophomore Ronald Green, who is averaging 7.2 yards per carry this season and has 547 yards and five touchdowns.  The third back that could pose a threat is senior Chris Jones. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and has recorded 373 yards and one touchdown this season.

The stable of running backs is led by the Demons massive offensive line.

“They are more of a run team,” Keeler said. “They will be physical with their very big offensive line, but they do have the athletes to throw the ball.”

The Bearkats will attack the Demons defense with their passing game, which currently ranks number two in the nation in yards per game and efficiency.

The Demons are not very good at defending the passing game, allowing over 265 yards per game Led by last week’s Southland Conference player of the week and STATS FCS freshman of the week, wide receiver Nathan Stewart, and junior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe, the Bearkats will look to get the offense going early.

The Bearkats will look to maintain their number one ranking in the FCS Stats poll this weekend against Northwestern State. The Bearkats will need to avoid the itch to look ahead to Central Arkansas next week, and focus on the task at hand, which is defeating the Demons on Saturday.

The Demons players should be highly motivated, as Saturday is their senior day, and it is the final time their seniors will take the field at home.

The game will take place on Saturday in Natchitoches, LA. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

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