The Southeastern defense forced six turnovers and held Arkansas-Monticello to just 97 yards of total offense and was rewarded with its second shutout of the season, topping the Boll Weevils 37-0 on Saturday afternoon in wet conditions in Monticello, Ark.
The win evens the Savage Storm record at 5-5 overall and 5-5 in league play heading into the final game of the season, the Great American Classic which will be the 99th meeting all time between Southeastern and East Central at 2 p.m. on Paul Laird Field.
SE will head into that game after back-to-back wins and with a defense that has not allowed a point in seven of the last eight quarters.
It is the first time a Southeastern defense has posted two shutouts in the same year since the 1991 club opened the season with back-to-back shutouts with a 17-0 win over Southern Arkansas and a 14-0 win over Ouachita Baptist.
The 97 total yards is a season low for yards allowed overall, while the passing defense set its best mark of the year by allowing just 46 yards through the air, marking the fifth time the secondary has held an opponent to less than 100 yards passing.
The defense was dominant, allowing just five first downs with the Weevils running just 46 offensive plays on the night compared to 80 by the Storm offense.
Kent London led the defense with four tackles, while adding a pair of interceptions.
A foursome of defenders posted three tackles each, led by Jacoby Sanders who recorded the game's only sack during which he forced a fumble which was recovered by Tajawin Smith.
Kevin Jones also recovered a fumble and doing so scored the fifth defensive touchdown of the season with an 11 yard fumble return. The five defensive scores matches the most in a season since the 2004 campaign.
Raheem Wilson picked up his fifth interception of the season and the 13th of his career, while Orlando Swift nabbed his second pick of the year and returned it 43 yards.
With the muddy field conditions it was the Storm ground game which took center stage as a trio of runners went for 60-or-more yards led by Ronnie Green who finished with 103 yards and a touchdown, while Devlon Wortham was at 80 yards with a score and Ryan Polite rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown.
In all, six players had carries in the game as the Storm ran for 261 yards on the ground.
Despite not piling up his usual yardage numbers, Polite was an efficient 11-of-14 through the air for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Green hauled in three of those passes for 39 yards and his first receiving TD of the year, while Kaymon Farmer added three catches of his own and a score.
The offense cashed in on the defense's work, turning the six UAM turnovers into 25 Southeastern points.
The Storm wasted little time getting on the board as a bad snap on UAM's second play hit the grass on the 11 yard line where it was scooped up by Kevin Jones who carried it the 11 yards into the end zone for SE's fifth defensive touchdown of the season and a 7-0 lead.
The teams struggled to get drives moving in the wet conditions until the Boll Weevils took advantage of a 47 yard Nick Williams run and a pass interference penalty on the Storm in the endzone to set up first-and-goal on the two yard line.
Raheem Wilson would bat down the first crack at the end zone, with Brickey Reed and Roderick Mitchell stopping Williams for no gain on second down. Josh Morrison would force Hunter Leppert into a bad throw on third down and Kent London would complete the goal line stand by picking off Leppert's pass in the end zone, his second-straight week with an end zone interception.
Southeastern would march the ensuing drive 80 yards over eight plays, and on the first play of the second quarter Ronnie Green would score from a yard out, but a blocked PAT would leave the lead at 13-0 with 14:52 to go in the half.
The Storm would end the next UAM drive when Jacoby Sanders scored a nine-yard sack which knocked the ball loose at the Boll Weevil 48 yardline where it was covered by Tajawin Smith.
SE would take the following drive 48 yards over 12 plays with a pair of fourth-down conversions, including the fourth-and-goal nine yard touchdown pass from Ryan Polite to Green, but a missed two-point conversion to leave the score 19-0.
After trading fruitless drives UAM crossed midfield looking for its first score, but Wilson ended the threat with his fifth interceptions of the season, this one at the SE 20 and SE would run out the final 1:24 to take the 19-0 lead into the half.
Southeastern picked up where it left off in the second half, starting with the ball and driving 68 yards on 11 plays including a 29 yard Polite run and a fourth-down conversion from Polite to Nick Sioson before another fourth-down conversion to cap the drive when Polite hit Kaymon Farmer for a nine yard TD, but another missed PAT would leave the score 25-0 with 9:18 to go in the third.
The defense would force a Weevil three-and-out and on its next possession the Storm took advantage of a 22 yard Polite to Green connection before Polite would eventually call his own number for a 15 yard touchdown run to cap a 47 yard, six play drive and after a missed two-point try SE would hold a 31-0 lead with 4:48 to go in the third quarter.
That score would hold till the end of the third quarter as UAM started a drive which approached midfield before Kent London snagged his second interception of the game at the SE 30 yardline.
That drive would start at the Storm 30 yardline and needed a 23 yard Sioson to Franky Okafor, followed by a 23 yard Green run before Wortham would finally cap the drive on yet another fourth-and-goal run from the one yard line with his first score of the day, but another missed two-point conversion left the tally at 37-0 with 9:05 to play.
Orlando Swift would end the enduing UAM drive on fourth down with an interception at the Storm 43 yard line which he returned 43 yards to the Boll Weevil 14 yard line.
That would effectively bring the game to a close as the Storm would turn the ball over on downs on the following drive after a Dru Smith run ended at the one yard line, but UAM was unable to gain any yardage on their final drive, punting the ball back to SE who would run the clock out for the final 2:57 to preserve the 37-0 win.