Sam Houston knocks out rival SE Louisiana

Huntsville, TX ( – They didn’t meet in the regular season, so
Sam Houston State might be saying it won the de facto title game between the
two Southland Conference co-champions Saturday.

Oh yes, the Bearkats are even happier to be advancing in the FCS playoffs after
they defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 21-17, in the first round.

Sam Houston (9-4) will travel to third-seeded Jacksonville State (10-1), the
Ohio Valley Conference champion, for a second-round showdown next Saturday.

Sam Houston and Southeastern (9-4) tied for the Southland title with 7-1
records, but they didn’t face each other in the 11-team conference.

The Bearkats, under first-year coach K.C. Keeler, overcame four turnovers,
playing well defensively in the second half and getting an important block of a
Southeastern field goal attempt during the fourth quarter.

The Lions were trying to extend a 17-14 lead, but defensive end P.J. Hall (four
tackles for loss, one sack) blocked Ryan Adams’ 46-yard attempt with 8:37 left.
The Bearkats then drove 59 yards in seven plays, going ahead 21-17 on Donovan
Williams’ 5-yard run.

Southeastern had three final drives, but one started at their 6-yard line and
their final one from their 1.

A muffed punt set up Williams for a 1-yard touchdown run and Jalen Overstreet
scored from 3 yards out for Sam Houston, which trailed 10-0 at halftime.

Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett, who wasn’t 100 percent healthwise, ran
for the Lions’ two touchdowns, but struggled to gain 181 yards on 17-for-48
passing, and was limited to 14 yards on 16 carries.