SLU Welcomes ACU for Hall of Fame Game, Solid Gold Saturday

HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team will host its second straight Southland Conference opponent on Saturday, when Abilene Christian comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest in Strawberry Stadium.

Saturday will also serve as the annual Hall of Fame Game, as former football All-American and current Atlanta Falcon Robert Alford and five-time Southland Conference champion women’s tennis standout Iva Velkovska make up the 2018 Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame class. Both will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s game.

Saturday will also be Solid Gold Saturday, as all Lion fans are encouraged to wear their Gold and help “Gold Out” Strawberry Stadium. The first 200 SLU students in the gates will receive a megaphone.

Both the Lions (3-4, 3-2 Southland) and Abilene Christian (3-4, 2-3 Southland) will be looking to build on home wins last Saturday.

Southeastern scored 14 points in the final 40 seconds on the way to a wild 62-52 victory over Houston Baptist on Saturday. A 49-yard punt return by junior Devonte Williams set up the go-ahead touchdown – a 15-yard catch and run by freshman CJ Turner. Junior Xavier Lewis clinched the win with a 38-yard fumble return for a score off a strip sack by senior Jon Miller.

The Lion ground game came alive behind the senior duo of Darren Johnson (21 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD) and Julius Maracalin (14-69).   Turner led SLU with four catches for 92 yards, while senior Jake Ingraffia also hauled in a touchdown pass from junior Chason Virgil. Junior Lorenzo Nunez threw a score of his own to junior Bransen Schwebel.

The Southeastern defense scored three touchdowns in a game for the first time since a 28-17 victory over Florida Tech in 2015. In addition to Lewis’ scoop and score, seniorZeke Walker and junior Tre’ Spann both took interceptions back for scores.

Abilene Christian limited Nicholls to just 12 points in a 28-12 victory over the No. 11 Colonels last Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Luke Anthony threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while junior running back Billy McCrary paced the ground attack with 91 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Defensively, ACU came up with five sacks to hold Nicholls in check. Junior Jeremiah Chambers was named Southland Defensive Player of the Week after pacing the Wildcat defense with 14 tackles and three tackles for loss.

SLU averages 29.4 points and 421.7 yards per game heading into Saturday’s game. Virgil is second in the FCS in passing yards with 2,081 in his seven games in Hammond. He has completed 62.0 percent (168-for-271) of his passes and thrown 13 touchdowns versus nine interceptions.

Virgil’s top targets are junior Juwan Petit-Frere (31 catches, 566 yards, 3 TD), Schwebel (22-285-3 TD), senior Nih-Jer Jackson (20-218), Turner (19-257-2 TD) and sophomore Austin Mitchell (18-303-3 TD). Johnson (65 carries, 304 yards, 3 TD) and Williams (58-186-3 TD) are the leaders of the SLU ground game.

ACU is allowing 28.0 points and 385.9 yards per contest. Chambers leads the Wildcats with 77 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss, while junior Adonis Davis (8 PBU, 3 INT) is the team’s best pass defender.

After consecutive prolific opposing offensive performances, Southeastern is yielding 34.7 points and 472.3 yards per contest. Senior Tamarcus Russell paces SLU with 70 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss. Lewis (50), junior Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund (44), senior Brayleon Thorns (37) and Walker (36) round out the team’s top five tacklers.

Spann and freshman Ferlando Jordan share the team lead with two interceptions, while Spann also leads the team with two fumble recoveries. Adeyemi-Berglund’s four sacks pace the Lions, while junior Dejion Lynch has a team-high five pass breakups.

ACU features an offense that averages 448.7 yards and 30.0 points per game. Anthony has thrown for 1,999 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions with junior Josh Fink (43 catches, 513, 4 TD) highlighting a prolific set of pass catchers. McCrary (469 yards, 6 TD) and junior Tracy James (454-2 TD) make up a formidable ground game.

Petit-Frere averages 31.1 yards per kickoff return – fourth-best in the nation – for the Lions heading into Saturday’s game.

Junior Ivy Wall has averaged 42.2 yards per punt – third in the Southland – to highlight the SLU kicking game this season. Senior Jonathan Tatum has connected on 8-of-11 field goals in 2018 – including 7-of-8 in conference play.

Sophomore Oscar Hernandez has made all 27 PAT’s and four-of-six field goals to highlight the Wildcat special teams.


Southeastern is 3-2 all-time versus Abilene Christian. Last season in Abilene, SLU rolled to a 56-21 victory.

Southeastern will be back on the road next Saturday, traveling to nationally-ranked league foe Sam Houston State for a 1 p.m. contest in Huntsville, Texas. The game will be televised nationally on Eleven Sports (DirecTV 623) and will be available on the Southland Digital Network at and via Southland apps available for iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

Fans can also hear the Lions-Bearkats tilt on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and WFPR 1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at and via the Radio FX, TuneIn Radio and Lions Gameday Experience apps.


For season ticket information and individual game tickets, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit The Lions’ 2018 home schedule includes conference foes Central Arkansas (Sept. 15), Northwestern State (Sept. 29), Houston Baptist (Oct. 13 – Homecoming), Abilene Christian (Oct. 20 – Hall of Fame Game) and McNeese (Nov. 3) to Strawberry Stadium in 2018.


Southeastern Athletics has instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of football season. For more information on the clear bag policy,


Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at la*@so**********.edu or (985) 549-5091 or visiting

For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @SLUFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.


Inside Southeastern Football with Frank Scelfo, the Lion first-year head coach’s radio show, is held every Monday through Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Tope La Catering (113 East Thomas Street) in downtown Hammond.

Hosted by Scelfo and Allen Waddell, the show will air on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and WFPR 1400 AM). Fans can also listen live at and via the Radio FX, TuneIn Radio and Lions Gameday Experience apps. A live video stream of the show will be available via Facebook Watch at


By: Kemmler Chapple

SLU Athletics