ALVA, Okla. – Joel Carlos connected on a 32 yard field goal with less than one second remaining on the clock and Southeastern held off its biggest challenge yet and left Alva, Okla., with a 30-27 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State to stay undefeated.
The Savage Storm improve to 5-0 on the season, doing so for the first time since the 1988 season, and will return home for Homecoming against Southwestern Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. at Paul Laird Field.
"Clutch," said head coach Bo Atterberry after the victory, "Found a way to win."
A big part of that finding a way was Carlos who was 3-for-3 on the day with none bigger than his 32 yard game winner.
"Not a lot went through my head," said Carlos when asked about NWOSU trying to ice him. "This year I came out with a whole different attitude when they tried to freeze me and honestly I didn't feel it."
"I want to thank everybody for believing in me," he continued, "And giving me that chance. I was very emotional and I was just glad it went through."
Carlos connected from 19 and 24 yards in the second and third quarters before hitting from 32 in the final frame for the win.
The Storm offense was led by Rashod Polk who turned in his second-straight 100-plus yard performance, this time putting up 201 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries as the Storm finished with241 yards on the ground.
Austin Skinner would lead the passing game with a 5-of-10 effort for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Rollin Kinsaul finished 1-of-5 and had a five yard TD completion.
Kinsaul's TD toss went wo Codey McElroy, while CJ Elkins hauled in Skinner's TD pass and finished with 58 yards on two catches.
The Storm defense was paced by Troy Parker's nine tackles, while Christian Banasiak added eight. Cantrell Gaines would add a sack.
The defense continued to force turnovers as Jarrett Ingram and Parker each had an interception, while Jonathon Torres would add a recovery on defense while the Storm special teams forced a fourth turnover off a muffed punt.
Southeastern jumped ahead first as the first quarter wound down as Kinsaul capitalized on a Storm takeaway by finding Codey McElroy for a five yard TD toss.
SE started the second quarter off by stretching that advantage as Skinner led a nine play, 71 yard drive and capped it by hitting Elkins for 18 yards and a 14-0 lead.
NWOSU would cut that lead in half with an Isaiah Weed 14 yard TD run with 7:46 to go in the first half.
After backing the Rangers up to their own 11 yard line Jonathon Torres would take advantage of a Weed mistake and recover a fumble at the nine yardline.
Two plays later Polk would cash in with a 9 yard run to open up a 21-7 lead with 4:20 to play in the half.
The teams traded fruitless possessions and NWOSU was driving when Troy Parker picked off a Weed pass and returned it 18 yards to the SE 38 yard line.
The Storm would take advantage of turnovers again as Joel Carlos finished the first half with a 19 yard field goal to take a 24-7 lead into the break.
SE would get on the board first in the second half as well as Carlos connected on a 24 yard field goal and stretched the advantage to 27-7 with 8:06 to go in the third.
However, the home team would go 82 yards on their ensuing drive and score on an Anthony Cota three yard run, but a missed PAT left SE up 27-13.
The Rangers would get a stop and finish off its next drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Cota scored again on a four yard run to close the gap to 27-20 with 14:34 to play.
NWOSU would continue the rally until knotting the score at 27-27 on a Jalen Williams seven yard TD run with 3:48 to play.
Southeastern would take over at its own 25 yardline on its ensuing drive and finally got moving when Skinner hit Skye Lowe for a 13 yard pickup on 3rd-and-seven.
Polk followed with five-straight runs to put SE in position at the NWOSU 24 yard line where Carlos connected on the game winner.