The Sam Houston State University football team left it all on the field in its home opener against the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies with a 77-0 blowout win.
The Bearkats wasted no time as they scored within the first 84 seconds when sophomore quarterback Eric Schmid rushed for a 12-yard touchdown. 18 seconds later the Bearkats found themselves back in the endzone after senior defensive end Will Lockett recovered a fumble in the endzone for another touchdown. SHSU’s defense did not stop there, though. Junior defensive back Zyon McCollum had a 26-yard pick-six for the third Kats touchdown in the first 2:01 of the game. With 42 unanswered points in the first quarter, SHSU scored three more times before the half and took a 63-0 lead into the locker room.
“This was timely for us because you improve the most between week one and week two,” head coach K.C. Keeler said. “I thought the guys really took to heart in terms of how hard we practiced and how hard we prepared. Up against a lesser opponent, it was more about us and not about them.”
The Bearkats used their quarterback duo for a second straight week. Schmid got the start but rotated roles with fellow sophomore Ty Brock. Schmid went 9/12 for 92 yards and tacked on two rushing touchdowns while Brock went 8/11 for 91 yards and one passing touchdown.
The Bearkats also hit the Aggies hard on the ground. Sophomore running back Donovan Williams led all running backs with 117 net yards on 17 carries. Redshirt sophomore Toneil Carter also took charge— rushing for 106 yards and scoring a trio of touchdowns.
“It felt great,” Carter said. “The whole ordeal this week was to go out there and have a good time, so that’s all I was really doing was having a good time and playing for my team.”
SHSU’s defense held its own, only allowing the Aggies offense five first downs and 107 total yards for the entire game. OPSU only had one drive in SHSU territory, which came at the 3:38 mark of the fourth quarter when freshman quarterback Gunner Capps lost a fumble giving the Aggies the ball. The SHSU defense continued to wreak havoc and forced a four-and-out to wrap up the 77-0 win.
The offensive outburst was the 28th time the Bearkats have scored 40 or more points with Keeler at the helm.
Since Keeler took the reins in 2014, SHSU is an incredible 30-3 in front of the home crowd at Bowers Stadium.
The Bearkats will travel to Grand Folks, North Dakota next Saturday for a rematch against the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks who snapped the Bearkats 21-game home winning streak last season. SHSU lost that game 24-23 after a late fourth quarter surge by UND. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. and will stream live on the Pluto app.
The road trip to North Dakota will be SHSU’s final non-conference matchup this season. The Kats will return home Sept. 21 for Family Weekend as they take on playoff-contender University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals at 6 p.m.