Saturday, February 16, 2019

SLU travels to No. 22/23 Bearkats to open stretch run

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 | Views: 708

SLU travels to No. 22/23 Bearkats to open stretch run
HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team will close out the 2018 season with three consecutive games versus nationally-ranked Southland Conference opponents, starting with Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at No. 22/23 Sam Houston State in Bowers Stadium.

Both Southeastern (3-5, 3-3 Southland) and the host Bearkats (4-3, 3-2 Southland) will be looking to bounce back from rough losses in league play last week.

A balanced Abilene Christian offensive attack was too much for the Lions to overcome in a 48-27 home loss to the Wildcats, who finished with 612 yards of total offense. SHSU succumbed to a relentless Lamar ground game (435 rushing yards) in a 41-23 loss at the Cardinals.

“Our play last Saturday was not indicative of the kind of team we are and what type of program we’re building,” Southeastern first-year head coach Frank Scelfo commented. “We have to put last week behind us and get ready for another tough game at a very good Sam Houston State team.”

Heading into the season’s final month, the conference race is tight as the top eight teams are separated by just two games.

“This is my first season going through league play,” Scelfo commented. “Every week, I’m more impressed with this conference. We have to play our best each time out to have a chance to win.”

Saturday’s contest features two talented quarterbacks in SLU junior Chason Virgil (2,405 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, 10 interceptions) and SHSU freshman Ty Brock (1,246-9 TD-6 INT). Scelfo sees the similarities between the two signal callers.

“Both of those two guys have a lot of room to grow moving forward,” Scelfo said. “Chason is in the first year in our system and is only going to get better, as he limits his mistakes. With their guy, you can see on tape how much he’s improved from his first game to today.”

Virgil’s top targets are Juwan Petit-Frere (37 catches, 625 yards, 3 TD), CJ Turner (30-364-3 TD), Bransen Schwebel (25-369-3 TD), Nih-Jer Jackson (23-242-1 TD) and Austin Mitchell (18-303-2 TD). SHSU counters with one of the nation’s top pass catching tandems in preseason All-Americans Davion Davis (51-562-10 TD) and Nathan Stewart (34-563-1 TD).

“Davis is as good of a player as we’ve faced this year and that includes LSU,” Scelfo stated. “We’re going to have to do our best to keep the ball out of his hands.”

The Lion running game features Darren Johnson (372 yards, three touchdowns), Devonte Williams (195-3 TD) and in the past two weeks, Julius Maracalin (72-1 TD). Kyran Jackson (519-5 TD) is the leader of the Sam Houston State ground game.

“We’ve been getting better in the run game as the season has progressed,” Scelfo commented. “We’re seeing our guys up front be a lot more physical, which is encouraging.”

The Lion defense is led by Tamarcus Russell (84 tackles), Xavier Lewis (53 tackles), Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund (6.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and Tre’ Spann (2 fumble recovers, 2 interceptions), among others.

“We have to go back to the fundamentals on defense,” Scelfo said. “Last week, we gave up nearly 300 extra yards after missed tackles. That’s not who we are and we have to get that cleaned up moving forward.”

SHSU’s defensive effort is led by Hunter Brown (63 tackles). The pass rushing tandem of Derick Roberson (14.0 TFL, 9.0 sacks) and Erick Fowler (11.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks).

“We have to know where Roberson is at all times,” Scelfo stated. “He’s extremely active and he’ll be a handful to deal with on Saturday.”

Both teams feature solid veteran kickers. SLU’s Jonathan Tatum is 10-for-13 on field goal attempts, while Sam Houston State counterpart Tre Honshtein has been true on 11-of-14 attempts.

“Jonathan missed two kicks in the opening game and has only missed one since,” Scelfo commented. “He’s been consistent and is quietly having a really good season.”

Following Saturday’s game, Southeastern will close out its 2018 home schedule with a 2:30 p.m. game versus McNeese at Strawberry Stadium. The Lions-Cowboys tilt will air on Cox Sports Television.

Southeastern will hold Military Appreciation Day in conjunction with the Nov. 3 contest, as all military and service personnel will receive two free tickets with a valid ID. The SLU-McNeese contest will also be Senior Day, as the Lion seniors will be honored approximately a half hour before kickoff.

Fans can also hear the Nov. 3 game 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, visit

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 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