Bearkats Win in Thriller against No. 23 Colonels

The Sam Houston Bearkats football team extend winning streak to three Saturday in a 25-17 win over No. 23 Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

It was the Bearkats (3-2) first game in two weeks since the Battle of the Piney Woods victory over rivals Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.

They headed to Richmond, Kentucky, to face the Colonels (3-3, 0-1) for the second time ever. The first time was Nov. 13 last season in Huntsville, Texas. The Bearkats won convincingly 42-28.

The Bearkats struck first on the first drive of the game with a 45-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Seth Morgan.

He would play a key role.

Junior quarterback Keegan Shoemaker would then throw a pass to graduate wide receiver Cody Chrest for a 10-yard touchdown that made it 10-0 in the first quarter.

It came off a 15-play, 93-yard drive.

The Colonels, however, would not leave those 10 points unanswered as they were led by redshirt junior quarterback Parker McKinney.

McKinney would get the Colonels on the board with a 23-yard dime to fellow redshirt junior wide receiver Mo Edwards Jr. in the second quarter.

Redshirt sophomore kicker Patrick Nations would even it up with the point after and then a 26-yard field goal later on.

It made it 10-10 at halftime.

Both teams couldn’t get anything going in the third quarter until Morgan hit his second field goal. This time from 47 yards out with 1:13 left in the quarter.

This made it 13-10.

Morgan would then hit another field goal with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter to make it 16-10 Bearkats. It was from 45 yards out, making all three of his field goals at that point from at least 45 yards.

The Colonels would not go quietly.

McKinney skillfully led his team down the field in the final minutes and threw his second touchdown of the game. It was a 2-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Jayden Higgins.

The Nation point after attempt made it 17-16, giving Eastern Kentucky their first lead of the game.

Sam Houston though, had the time, and didn’t waste time.

They marched down the field with 1:01 left in the game led by Shoemaker. He threw a 25-yard dime to Chrest to get the Bearkats to get to the Colonel 16-yard line.

This then lined up Seth Morgan for his fourth field goal try. Despite being iced by Eastern Kentucky, Morgan put a 34-yard field goal through the uprights to take the 19-17 lead with six seconds left.

The Colonels then let a kickoff from Morgan bounce into the endzone, free for redshirt senior Tony Williams to pick up and score six.

That expired time and the Bearkats would end victorious 25-17 for their third straight win.

One player the Bearkats relied on a lot was redshirt freshman Zach Hrbacek, who rushed 17 times for 111 yards. This was an average of 6.5 yards per carry.

Shoemaker finished the game 13 for 31 with 127 yards and one touchdown.

Chrest had two catches for 35 yards and one touchdown.

On the defensive side, sophomore linebacker Jaylen Phillips recorded a career high 10 total tackles, which gave him Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Seth Morgan would also be recognized, being named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Bearkats will continue their season with another away game. They will fly to St. George, Utah, to face the Utah Tech Trailblazers (1-5, 0-2) on Oct. 22.

It will kickoff at 8 p.m. on ESPN plus and on 101.7 KSAM.

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