Southeastern Football Shuts Out SNU in 45-0 Victory

Southeastern excelled in all three phases of the game, but the defense stole the show by forcing three turnovers, scoring on an interception return and pitching the shutout in a dominating 45-0 victory over Southern Nazarene on Saturday afternoon at Paul Laird Field.

The win lifts the Savage Storm to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in Great American Conference play heading into its first road game in nearly a month when it heads to Weatherford, Okla., for a 2 p.m. matchup with Southwestern Oklahoma State on Oct. 18.

The shutout is the first pitched by SE since handing Angelo State a 35-0 loss in San Angelo, Texas, on Oct. 18 of 2008.

Donnie Hamilton would pick up the team's second defensive touchdown of the season with a 39 yard pick-six, while as a team the Storm held SNU to 288 total yards, including just 106 through the air.

Chad Tucker turned in 10 tackles, one for a loss and a pair of pass breakups, Tanner Ginavan also added an interception and returned it 48 yards, and Taivonne Brown recovered a fumbles that was forced by Jacobi Crowley.

Josh Morrison posted a sack for six yards, while Patrick Howard, Damarius Lavender, Adrian Williams and Malique Early each recorded half a sack.

Southeastern's special teams also had a great showing, led by a record-setting effort by Jared Heim who averaged 45.2 yards per punt on five punts, but waited till his final kick of the day to unleash an 88 yard punt from the SE five yard line to the SNU seven yard line. That final punt set a new school record, snapping the previous record of 72 yards by Hal Showalter set in 1982.

Jake Walters connected on his only field goal attempt with a season-long of 42 yards for his 10th made field goal of the season.

The offense was paced by the passing game where Ryan Polite completed 14-of-22 for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

Dru Smith would add 15 yards on a 2-for-2 effort to help the Storm finish with 204 passing yards as a team.

Anthony Foster was the most popular target with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, while Layton Dworaczyk led the way in yardage with 98 yards on four catches with a touchdown and a long reception of 76 yards.

Franky Okafor added 77 yards on a pair of catches with a long of 74.

The running game picked up 155 yards as a team on the ground, led by 59 yards from Ronnie Green on 10 carries.

Nelson Akinwande was next in line with 41 yards on six carries with a touchdown, while Devlon Wortham scored twice and tallied 35 yards on 12 carries. It is the fourth time this season Southeastern has rushed for three-or-more TDs as a team.

The Storm opened the game by holding SNU to a three-and-out and then answering with a 12-play, 63 yard drive that saw SE convert a third down and a fourth down before Wortham scored from 11 yards out for a 7-0 lead.

SE would stop SNU again on its second drive and follow up with a 76 yards touchdown toss from Polite to Dworaczyk on the first play of the ensuing drive to mount a 14-0 lead.

After another three-and-out by the defense, the Storm would push its lead to 17-0 when Walters hit a season-best 42 yard field goal with 48 seconds to play in the first quarter.

SE would twice hold the Crimson Storm on downs, but the offense would not find its way back to the endzone and the Storm would take a 17-0 lead into the break at halftime.

The teams would trade fruitless possessions before Southeastern put together a three play drive that saw runs from Green of 16 yards and 21 yards before Polite hit Foster for a 26 yard touchdown to take a 24-0 lead.

SNU's next drive would end with a bad snap on the punt and a tackle for a big loss by Tucker, and three plays later Wortham would score from a yard out for his second touchdown and a 31-0 lead with 2:36 to play in the third quarter.

The next Crimson Storm drive would carry into the fourth quarter and come to an end when Ginavan collected his first interception of the year and returned it 48 yards to the SNU 36 yard line.

Later in the fourth Nelson Akinwande would score his first TD of the season from seven yards out with 5:23 to go to push the lead to 38-0.

The Storm would finish its scoring two plays into the next SNU drive when Hamilton snagged the Alec Laffoon pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown and a 45-0 lead.

SNU would later drive down to the SE eight yard line and threaten to end the shutout, but Crowley would force a Lorenzo Alexander fumble which was recovered by Brown.

Southeastern would take a knee to run out the clock, but the Crimson Storm would use a time out after the third knee to leave 22 seconds on the clock.

That would put Heim on the field to punt the ball away standing a step inside the back of his own end zone where he uncorked a school-record 88 yard punt that sailed over the deep man and traveling more than 50 yards in the air before bouncing and rolling to the SNU seven yard line.



 
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