Today, the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (0-6, 0-2) traveled to San Antonio for a matchup with the Incarnate Word Cardinals (4-1, 1-0). The game started off rocky for the Lions, as they fell behind early and trailed 14-3 early in the 2nd quarter after some costly mistakes. Down 24-6 at halftime, SLU came out hot in the second half and outscored UIW 20-9 in the second half, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cardinals were able to come away with a hard-fought victory.
The game started off with a bang for UIW as just three-and-a-half minutes into the game, Zachary Clement fumbled on a quarterback keeper after a hit from Steven Parker, and the ball was returned 60 yards by Mason Chambers for the game’s opening touchdown. The Lions responded later in the quarter with a 23-yard field goal from Riley Callaghan.
The second quarter started off with another bang for UIW, as Zach Calzada was able to connect with Brandon Porter for a 72-yard deep shot with some yards after-the-catch added as well. This play set up a short touchdown pass of 8 yards to Caleb Chapman. SLU responded with a 31-yard field goal to bring the game back to one possession at 14-6. Porter later caught a touchdown of his own from Calzada, from 18-yards out, and after a UIW field goal to end the half, it was a 24-6 ballgame.
Four minutes into the second half, Clement was able to make up for his earlier fumble and score the first touchdown of the day for the Lions, with an 8-yard rushing touchdown. Five minutes later, Jaylon Domingeaux caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Eli Sawyer, and the game was in reach at this point for the Lions, being down just five points. But then, when attempting a 2-point conversion, the ball was fumbled and ran back for a 2-point defensive conversion, and the possibility of a three-point ballgame was gone, with UIW now leading by 7. Zach Calzada was able to run the ball in for a four-yard touchdown in the final minute of the 3rd quarter, and UIW took a 14-point lead, 33-19, into the final quarter.
Not much happened at the start of the 4th, until Ian Goodly knocked the ball out of Calzada’s hands, and Victor Tademy was able to recover at UIW’s 15-yard line. On the short field, Sawyer was able to find Bauer Sharp for an 8-yard touchdown, his third of the year, and SLU was back within 7. A late drive materialized, but a Sawyer interception with 0:43 left sealed the deal, and the Cardinals were able to take victory in their first conference game of the year.
There was a pretty entertaining quarterback dual, as Sawyer connected on 27/40 passes for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus the interception. On the other side, Calzada went 23/32 and threw for 304 yards and the 2 touchdowns, plus an interception that was caught by Kunta Hester. Zachary Clement also attempted a pass for the Lions, which was incomplete, and added 7 rushes for 33 yards and a touchdown to his statline. Sawyer ran once for 2 yards, and Calzada’s rushing was 10 for -17 yards, but with a long of 13, and a touchdown.
Harlan Dixon led the way in terms of rushing for SLU, totaling 55 yards on 13 carries, and adding 3 catches for 20 yards. Rodeo Graham Jr tallied 12 carries and 31 yards, as well as 3-32 through the air. Notable weapon Bauer Sharp ran 4 times, for 18 yards, in short-yardage situations. For UIW, their rushing attack was headlined by Jarrell Wiley, who carried the ball 9 times for 54 yards.
Jaylon Domingeaux led the way for the Lions in the receiving attack, catching 4 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. Sharp caught 3 balls for 45 yards and a touchdown, and Da’shun Hugely, Darius Lewis, and Xavier Hill caught 4 passes apiece, for 43, 22, and 28 yards, respectively. For UIW, Brandon Porter popped off, catching 10 passes for 182 yards, including the crazy 72-yarder in the 2nd quarter.
Ian Goodly, the tackle machine, recorded 16 today, as well as the forced fumble. Three Lions recorded sacks, those three being Donte’ Daniels, Garrett Crawford, and Arlen Williams. For UIW, Tylan Foster and Tre Richardson both hit double digits for tackles, with 12 and 11. UIW did not record a sack.
Southeastern returns to Hammond next weekend to face Lamar on homecoming weekend. UIW will stay in San Antonio for a home matchup against Texas A&M – Commerce.