Alva Review-Courier -

Football: Storm Comeback Effort Falls Short

 

October 7, 2018



MAGNOLIA, Ark. - The Southern Nazarene football team faced a 14-0 deficit after one quarter, but would outscore No. 17/18 Southern Arkansas the remainder of the game. However, despite the solid play, the Crimson Storm's comeback effort would fall short as the Muleriders held on for a 21-16 win on Saturday afternoon at Wilkins Stadium.

SNU finished with 256 yards of total offense including 178 yards through the air. On the other side, SAU went for 411 total yard including 215 through the air. The Crimson Storm forced three turnovers on the day while giving it away two times on the afternoon.

Both teams exchanged their opening possessions before Southern Arkansas struck on a 3 play, 57 yard drive as Barrett Renner connected with Kile Pletcher for a 53 yard score and a 7-0 lead.

After a SNU three-and-out, SAU went on an 11-play, 88-yard drive including a pair of big passes to get deep into SNU territory. The Muleriders capped the drive with a four yard touchdown run by Lorenzo Alexander to move their lead to 14-0 going to the end of the first quarter.

Southern Nazarene opened the second quarter with a 17-play, 75-yard drive using the ground game to move the ball as well as some big completions from sophomore Gage Porter to junior Reid Roelofs. SNU capped the long drive with a one yard plunge by sophomore Nate Walker to cut the deficit to 14-7.

SAU would move the ball into SNU territory on their next drive, but the Storm defense came away with a huge turnover on downs set up by a sack from senior Myles Roll.

The Crimson Storm would start their next drive with back-to-back 20+ yard runs beginning with a 23 yard rush by Walker followed by a 24 yard rush from Porter to set up shop at the Mulerider 18. The drive would stall, but senior Carlos Anguiano made sure points went on the board as he connected on a 32-yard field goal to make it a 14-10 game going into the break.

A penalty would place SNU deep in their own territory and would prove to be costly in the field position battle as Southern Arkansas would get field position at the SNU 40. The Muleriders didn't take long to strike, going 40 yards in four plays resulting in a one yard score from Alexander to make it a 21-10 game.

Three possessions later, SAU had the ball again and were driving until a Renner pass was read perfectly by junior Josh Jordan, picking it off at the SNU 8 and returning in 22 yards to the 30 to swing some momentum in favor of the Storm going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams exchanged punts before SNU went on a 7 play, 64 yard drive with 11 minutes to play in the game. Porter did most of his damage through the air on the drive, completing a pass to four different receivers before connecting with senior Jacoby Hicks for a 27 yard score. The two-point conversion would fail, but SNU got it back to a one possession game at 21-16.

A forced fumble by junior Anthony Stephens II gave SNU the ball back; however, the Storm would turn it right back over to negate the drive. The Muleriders would work it down into SNU territory, working clock along the way, but the defense made another huge play as freshman Trenton Smith jarred the ball loose and gave the Crimson Storm one final chance.

Unfortunately for SNU, another turnover, this time through the air, would close the game out as Southern Arkansas survived for the 21-16 home win.

Porter had a nice day, going 10 of 16 for 159 yards, a score, and an interception while senior Jacob Spady was 3 of 3 for 19 yards. Walker would rush 11 times for 37 yards and a score while Roelofs caught four passes for 78 yards. Hicks and Walker each added a pair of catches.

For SAU, Renner led the way, going 11 of 18 for 215 yards, a touchdown, and a pick while Alexander rushed 21 times for 81 yards and two scores. Jaidon Parrish caught four balls for 81 yards.

Defensively, Roll had an outstanding game with 13 tackles and a sack while Smith had eight tackles, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. Jordan added five tackles, a pick, and a fumble recovery while senior Zack Loyd had seven stops.

For the Muleriders, Lison had eight tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss while Anthony Washington had a pair of sacks.

SNU moves to 1-5 overall and 1-5 in the GAC. They will return to Bethany next weekend as they welcome in the Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils to SNU Football Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 PM.

 

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