January 21, 2018

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Lions Host No. 19/20 McNeese

McNeese State Cowboys/ Southeastern Lions

HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team will be back home on Saturday, hosting No. 19/20 McNeese State in a 6 p.m. Southland Conference contest at Strawberry Stadium.

 

The game between the Lions (1-3, 1-1 Southland) and the visiting Cowboys (3-2, 2-1 Southland) will be televised on Cox Sports Television and on ESPN3 outside of the Cox Sports viewing area. Fans can also hear the game on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM, WFPR-AM (1400)), via the TuneIn Radio app and on www.LionSports.net, where live stats will also be available.

 

The SLU-McNeese game will be Southeastern’s annual Geaux Pink game dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. The first 300 Southeastern students in attendance for the McNeese game will receive free t-shirts courtesy of Southeastern Athletics Marketing and Promotions.

 

Southeastern will be looking to bounce back from a 38-14 loss at Lamar last Saturday. Nationally-ranked McNeese comes to Hammond in search of its third straight victory. After a 1-2 start, the Cowboys have posted consecutive victories over league opponents Incarnate Word and Nicholls.

 

“Every week in the Southland Conference is a challenge and this week’s no different,” Southeastern head coach Ron Roberts said. “McNeese comes here playing very well. They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and we have a lot of respect for their program.”

 

Southeastern will attempt to shake off last week’s showing in Beaumont. The Lions let the game get away from them due to four turnovers. Lamar also created a short field early with a blocked punt.

 

“It’s really hard to win a game in this league when you give up four turnovers and a blocked punt,” Roberts commented. “We have to clean up those mistakes.”

 

Seniors Justin Alo and D’Shaie Landor split time under center on Saturday at Lamar. Alo is expected to make his fourth straight start versus the Cowboys, as he has thrown for 679 yards and six touchdowns this season. Senior Brandon Acker (14 catches, 316 yards, 3 TD) and junior Juwan Dickey (9-184-2 TD) have been SLU’s top targets. Senior Rasheed Harrell (214 yards, 2 TD) has been the team’s top rusher.

 

Alo and company will face a McNeese defense that has allowed 22.4 points and 339.6 yards per game. Damion Morgan and Ashari Goins share the team lead with 27 tackles, while Jammerio Gross leads the Cowboys with three sacks and five tackles for loss.

 

The Cowboy offense is posting 32.6 points and 447.0 yards per outing. James Tabary (1,438 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT) has been excellent in his first season as a starter, spreading the ball out to Ryan Ross (20 catches, 152 yards), Kent Shelby (19-264-2 TD), Darious Crawley (18-395-5 TD), Kylon Highshaw (14-249-1 TD) and Parker Orgeron (13-168-1 TD). Ross is one of the league’s most versatile players, leading McNeese with 287 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

 

The SLU defense has yielded 37.8 points and 421.0 yards per game. Junior Javon Tillman leads the Lions with 35 tackles, followed by fellow juniors Max Lyons (30), Ryan Sigers (27), Lee Spight (25) and Torrance Mosley (25).

 

Southeastern is 18-23 all-time versus their longtime in-state rivals. The Lions had taken three games in a row in the series, before the Cowboys earned a 21-7 last season in the Lake Charles as part of their undefeated 2015 campaign.

 

McNeese will be the third nationally-ranked opponent the Lions have faced in 2016. Southeastern opened the season with road defeats at FBS No. 19/21 Oklahoma State and No. 23 Southern Utah.

 

Following Saturday’s contest, Southeastern will head back on the road, traveling to Stephen F. Austin for a 3 p.m. contest on Oct. 15. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and will be broadcast on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network.

About Andy Bryson 594 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach

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