Bearkats klaw their way to victory over Lions

Photo courtesy of Jacob Hodges

Sam Houston State University opened their shortened spring football season with a narrow victory against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions with a score of 43-38.

The Bearkats would receive the first kick-off of the game. In the first play of the game, junior quarterback Eric Schmid would run the football 50 yards, but then fumble it, as the Lions would recover the fumble.

Junior running back Ramon Jefferson, transfer student from Garden City Community College, would open up the scoring with a 59-yard run to the end zone after a three and out forced by the Bearkats defense.

The Lions would answer the score with their own touchdown pass after converting on a fourth down. The score would be tied, 7-7.

The Bearkat offense would take the field and would make it in field goal range where freshman kicker Seth Morgan would get the 39-yard field goal and tack on three points, and the Bearkats would take the lead again 10-7.

The Lions took the field and penalty flags would start flying on both sides throughout the game. The Bearkats would receive nine penalties resulting in 80 yards and the Lions would outdo them with 10 penalties, resulting in 81 yards.

The Lions would score a touchdown on this drive and take the lead this one and only time, leading the Bearkats 14-10.

The Bearkats were quick to respond where Schmid would connect with All-American Howard graduate transfer wide receiver Jequez Ezzard with a long pass that would turn into a 52-yard gain. Sophomore running back Noah Smith would then punch in the last four yards for a touchdown.

They would never trail after this score.

Ezzard would go on to be the second leading receiver at the end of the game with 97 yards on three receptions and one touchdown. Among the other receiving leaders was Schmid’s go-to sophomore wide receiver Chandler Harvin who would break 100 yards receiving with a total of 118 yards. Rounding out the top three receiving leaders was sophomore wide receiver Ife Adeyi with three catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, one of them being a 78-yard touchdown pass.

Schmid would go on to lead the offense with two touchdowns and 428 yards. Schmid would also have 88 of the rushing yards. The offense in total had a whopping 672 yards in total, with 244 on the ground.

Jefferson would finish his first night as a Bearkat with 139 yards and average an impressive 11.6 yards a carry.

“We knew he was good, he did good in practice, but we did not know how good because he doesn’t get hit in practice. I think he proved that tonight,” Schmid said about his new teammate Jefferson.

The Bearkats defense sacked the Lions three times, first by senior defensive lineman Jahari Kay, second by senior defensive tackle Scean Mustin and third by junior linebacker Trevor Williams.

The McCollum twins also had a big night with Zyon constantly breaking up passes and his twin Tristin stopping the Lions on fourth to essentially seal the game.

“Right when I made the tackle I looked to the sideline to make sure he didn’t get the first, when the ref confirmed it I was ecstatic and I just wanted to go celebrate with my teammates,” McCollum said after the game.

The first Bearkat game of the Southland Conference did not arrive easy, with the events of the last year.

“A pandemic, no heat or water for four days, a lot of the guys didn’t have food or electricity, we had to shovel the field off,” head coach K.C. Keeler said about the obstacles they have faced the last week due to an ice storm and due to the pandemic. “We haven’t played in 15 months; we just find a way to fight through it.”

The Bearkats take on Nicholls State University at noon on March 13 under the lights of Bowers Stadium.

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