April 22, 2019

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No. 5 SHSU Snaps SLU Win Streak With 33-23 Victory

#93 Fred Brown sacks Sam Houston QB Jeremiah Briscoe

HAMMOND, La. – No. 5/5 Sam Houston State scored the game’s final 10 points on the way to a 33-23 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in a tightly-contested Southland Conference contest Saturdaynight at Strawberry Stadium.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Southeastern (5-4, 5-2 Southland). Saturday’s game marked the first time in the last six contests that the Lions failed to crack 49 points or 500 total yards, as SLU managed 334 yards of total offense.

SLU sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Nunez’s three-yard touchdown run tied the score at 23-23 midway through the third quarter. But the defending Southland Conference champion Bearkats (7-1, 5-1 Southland) shut the Lions down from there, as Sam Houston State took the lead for good on a 24-yard field goal by freshman Tre Honshtein late in the third quarter and added the final score on a two-yard scoring run by senior Corey Avery.

Nunez finished with a career-high 102 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to lead the SLU rushing attack. He also threw for 132 yards and found freshman Austin Mitchell for his team-high fifth touchdown reception of the season.

The Lion defense yielded 375 total yards to the nation’s No. 2 ranked offense, as SHSU senior quarterback and reigning Walter Payton Award winner Jeremiah Briscoe completed 13-of-26 passes for 164 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

While Briscoe didn’t put up his typical gaudy numbers, the Bearkats were effective running the ball, finishing with 211 yards on the ground. Avery carried the majority of the load for SHSU, finishing with 129 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.

Senior Max Lyons led the SLU defensive effort with 12 tackles, while senior Lee Spight added 10 stops. Senior Ryan Sigers was credited with a game-high three pass breakups and intercepted his second pass of the season.

The Bearkat defense was led by junior Justin Johnson, who finished with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Junior Chris Stewart added two sacks for the Bearkats, while junior Adrian Contreras intercepted a pass for SHSU.

A special teams miscue led to the Bearkats taking the early lead. A snap over the head of sophomore punter Ivy Wall resulted in a safety and put Sam Houston State ahead, 2-0, with 11:18 left in the opening period.

The Bearkats added to their lead following the ensuing free kick. A 45-yard strike from Briscoe to sophomore Nathan Stewart highlighted a six-play, 60-yard scoring drive. Briscoe found junior Davion Davis from two yards out to give SHSU a 9-0 lead with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter.

After the two teams traded punts on the next two possessions, SLU got on the board on the final drive of the first quarter. A 34-yard catch and run by sophomore Javon Conner set up a 32-yard field goal by senior Dillon Burkhard to end the first quarter with the Lions down, 9-3. Nunez had found the end zone earlier in the drive, but a Lion penalty forced SLU to settle for Burkhard’s first field goal since Sept. 16.

SHSU went three-and-out on its first possession of the second quarter and SLU quickly took the lead. Nunez found Mitchell from 22 yards out to close out a five-play, 61-yard drive and put Southeastern up, 10-9, with 12:25 remaining in the first half.

The Bearkats answered right back with a methodical 14-play, 80-yard scoring march. The Lions had seemingly ended the SHSU drive and forced a Honshtein field goal attempt, but Contreras pulled off a run on the fake try, setting the Bearkats up with a goal-to-go attempt. Davis swept in from two yards out to give Sam Houston State a 16-10 lead with 7:38 left in the opening half.

A 32-yard Nunez run set up a 21-yard field goal by Burkhard to pull SLU within three at 16-13 with 4:39 left in the second quarter. After SHSU went three-and-out, SLU drove down for a 32-yard field goal by Burkhard to send the Lions and Bearkats into the break knotted at 16-16.

SLU went three-and-out on the first drive of the third quarter and a nice return by Davis set up the Bearkats in Southeastern territory. Five plays later, Avery bulled in from two yards out on fourth-and-goal to put Sam Houston State ahead, 23-16, with 11:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Southeastern once again had an answer for the Bearkats’ score. 10 consecutive runs put the Lions in the end zone, as Nunez scampered in from three yards out to tie the score at 23-23 with 6:57 left in the third quarter.

SHSU took the lead for good on the ensuing drive. Honshtein’s field goal gave the Bearkats a 26-23 advantage with 3:18 remaining.

The Lions moved inside the Bearkat 30-yard line on their next drive. However, Johnson

sacked Nunez twice in a row to end Southeastern’s threat as the game moved into the fourth quarter.

SHSU would make it a two-score game on its next trip. Avery closed out a nine-play, 70-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to put the Bearkats up, 33-23, with 11:28 remaining. SLU would not reach Sam Houston State territory for the remainder of the game, as the Bearkats were able to close out the victory.

Southeastern will close out its road schedule next Saturday with a 6 p.m. game at No. 20 McNeese. The Lions-Cowboys showdown will be televised on Cox Sports Television and on ESPN3 outside of the CST viewing area. It will also be heard on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU 90.9 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM, Kajun 107.1 FM, WFPR 1400 AM), online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the TuneIn Radio app.

SHSU – 9 7 10 7 – 33 (7-1, 5-1 SLC)
SLU – 3 13 7 0 – 23 (5-4, 5-2 SLC)

1st Quarter
SHSU – Team Safety, 11:18
SHSU – Davis 2 pass from Briscoe (Honshtein kick), 8:44

SLU – Burkhard 32 FG, 0:00
2nd Quarter
SLU – Mitchell 22 pass from Nunez (Burkhard kick), 12:25
SHSU – Davis 2 run (Honshtein kick), 7:38
SLU – Burkhard 21 FG, 4:39
SLU – Burkhard 32 FG, 0:00
3rd Quarter
SHSU – Avery 2 run (Honshtein kick), 11:26
SLU – Nunez 3 run (Burkhard kick), 6:57
SHSU – Honshtein 24 FG, 3:18
4th Quarter
SHSU – Avery 2 run (Honshtein kick), 11:28



FIRST DOWNS                                                 22           22
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)                                  48-211    51-202

PASSING YDS (NET)                                       164         132


Passes Att-Comp-Int                                          26-13-1   25-9-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS                74-375    76-334

Fumble Returns-Yards                                        0-0          0-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards                                       5-98        4-79

Punt Returns-Yards                                             2-35        2-11

Interception Returns-Yards                                 1-2          1-7

Punts (Number-Avg)                                           5-35.8     5-36.8

Fumbles-Lost                                                      1-0          1-0                                         Penalties-Yards                                                   4-46        8-79

Possession Time.                                                 27:13      32:47

Third-Down Conversions                                    4-of-15   9-of-18

Fourth-Down Conversions                                  3-of-4     0-of-1

Red Zone Scores-Chances                                  5-5          4-4

RUSHING: SHSU – Avery 26-129, Bulmer 13-72, Contreras 1-11, Davis 2-8, Stewart 1-3, Henderson 1-0, Team 3-(-6), Briscoe 1-(-6). Totals 48-211. SLU – Nunez 18-102, Bethea 18-60, Petit-Frere 3-41, Johnson 7-26, Price 1-8, Cooper 2-1, Walker 1-(-5), Team 1-(-31). Totals – 51-202.


PASSING: SHSU – Briscoe 13-26-1-164-1. Totals 13-26-1-164-1. SLU – Nunez 9-21-0-132-1, Walker 0-4-1-0-0. Totals 9-25-1-132-1.


RECEIVING: SHSU – Louis 7-78, Avery 3-38, Stewart 1-45, Davis 1-2, Henderson 1-1. Totals 13-164. SLU – Dickey 4-37, Conner 2-46, Mitchell 1-22, Ingraffia 1-17, Bethea 1-10. Totals 9-132.


A – 6,027.

About Andy Bryson 667 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach