Southeastern races to win over ENMU

CNJ staff

DURANT, Okla. — Shut out through a half, Southeastern Oklahoma scored four times in the first 10-plus minutes of the third quarter Saturday and the Savage Storm went on to a 29-14 Lone Star Conference crossover victory over Eastern New Mexico University.

Wide receiver Daniel Nichols caught seven passes for 166 yards and a pair of touchdown, one on a halfback pass from freshman running back Baylen Laury, as the Savage Storm (1-2) turned a 14-0 deficit into a 22-14 lead.

Southeastern limited the Greyhounds (1-2) to a net of 2 yards rushing, and intercepted five passes. Free safety Bernard Daniel had two of the picks.

Sophomore quarterback Cory Baker finished 28-for-62 passing for ENMU for 238 yards, but was hurt by the interceptions. ENMU’s only offensive touchdown came on a bad snap from field goal formation in which holder Michael Carrasco scooped up the ball and scrambled seven yards for a touchdown with 3:47 to go in the half.

That capped a 77-yard, 13-play drive in which Baker went 5-of-8 for 53 yards. The Savage Storm also helped out with a facemask penalty which nullified a sack on Baker.

Baker shattered the school record for pass attempts in a game, previously held by Kevin Kott (56) against Texas Lutheran on Nov. 10, 1984.

Eastern’s first score came when cornerback Antwuan Purtle picked up a fumble by Southeastern tight end Jerrod Temple and returned it 32 yards in the final minute of the first period.

Southeastern threatened in the final minute of the half, reaching the ENMU 1 before Laury fumbled into the end zone and linebacker Nathan Uland recovered with eight seconds to go.

The Hounds moved into scoring range early in the second quarter when Baker hit Carrasco on a 58-yard pass play to the Savage Storm’s 15, but after two incomplete passes they were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and eventually gave up the ball on downs at the 26.

After a touchback on the second-half kickoff, two penalties moved the Hounds back to their own five and the Savage Storm took over at the ENMU 36 following a punt. Three plays later, quarterback Brandon McClain bootlegged around left end and scored from 20 yards out to put Southeastern on the board.

A two-point conversion failed, but the Savage Storm forced another punt. Southeastern ended a 57-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal from Cole Jones.

After a touchback on the kickoff, Daniel intercepted Baker at the ENMU 31 and on the next play, Laury took a pitchout and lofted his scoring pass to Nichols to give the Savage Storm a 15-14 lead.

Following a three-and-out, McClain and Nichols hooked up on a 73-yard scoring strike with 4:52 left in the period.

Baker was intercepted three times in the final period, and Adam Richards missed a 42-yard field goal attempt. The Savage Storm added their final points on a 76-yard pass from McClain to Michael Goodlow with 2:40 left, capping a 75-yard march.

Uland posted a team-high 14 tackles, including six solo stops. Senior defensive back Jeremy Hibbler and junior linebacker Derek Dimitroff were in on 13 and 10 stops, respectively.