KC Keeler on beating UCA in Overtime: ‘The Kats are Back’

The No. 21 Sam Houston State University Bearkats defeated the No. 13 University of Central Arkansas Bears 34-31 in overtime Saturday.

Senior kicker Tre Honshtein drilled a 34-yard game-winning field goal in front of 7,598 fans in the first overtime game at Bowers Stadium since 2008.

The Bearkats had an interesting week heading into the family weekend matchup, including the departure of senior running back Remus Bulmer and a starting quarterback change from redshirt junior Mike Dare to redshirt freshman Ty Brock.

Brock’s final stats in the contest were 27-for-43 passing (62.8 percent) for 305 yards through the air, one touchdown and one interception for a quarterback rating of 125.4 in his first start in his collegiate career.

Bearkats head coach K.C. Keeler talked about Brock’s performance.

“We really liked what Ty did,” Keeler said. “I told [offensive coordinator] Ryan Carty ‘because of having three linemen injured right now, I think it’s going to be a spark that we need and I think the running game we can add with Ty is gonna help.’ I said about six to eight runs, but he must have thought I said 18 runs because that’s what [Brock] had today.”

A key player for SHSU was running back Kyran Jackson. In the first quarter of the ballgame, Jackson ran for 52 yards on seven carries accompanied by three receptions for 24 yards.

Jackson finished the game with 88 yards on 20 carries and led the team in receptions with eight catches for 65 yards.

“First of all I would like to shout out my o-line,” Jackson said. “I was pretty comfortable going into the game. I had a couple of veterans in front of me that showed me the ropes such as Remus [Bulmer], [Javin] Webb and Corey Avery. I just felt comfortable, like I was playing my game. When I play my game, I feel good.”

Brock used his legs out of the pocket as well, tucking and running into the endzone to get his first collegiate touchdown after an amazing catch by senior receiver Davion Davis with one hand at the UCA two-yard line. That catch would change the momentum for the Bearkats and give new life to the team and the stadium crowd as well.

The Bears responded right away with a huge 80 yard passing touchdown to make it 10-7.

Both offenses came to life as the game progressed, eventually being knotted up at 31 at the end of regulation. 

In overtime, the Bearkats were able to hold the Bears to a three-and-out. UCA’s field goal attempt was blocked from junior defensive lineman Scean Mustin. The Bearkats got the ball after that and picked up a few yards before sending Honshtein came in to nail the game-winner.

The Bearkats now turn their attention to the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and the Battle of the Piney Woods Saturday at NRG Stadium. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

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