No. 17 / 19 Southeastern Faces Second Straight In-State Southland Foe on the Road Saturday at McNeese
HAMMOND, La. – The No. 17/19 Southeastern Louisiana football team will face its second straight Southland Conference in-state foe on the road on Saturday, taking on McNeese in a 4 p.m. tilt in Cowboy Stadium.
The game between the Lions (3-1, 2-0 Southland) and the host Cowboys (2-3, 0-2 Southland) will air on Cox Sports Television and ESPN+ (outside of the CST viewing area). It also can be heard on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (KSLU-FM (90.9), Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM WFPR), online at www.LionSports.net/listenlive and via the Radio FX and TuneIn Radio apps.
SLU improved to 2-0 in Southland Conference play for the first time since the 2015 season with last Saturday’s 44-27 victory at Northwestern State. SLU picked up its eighth straight victory over the Demons thanks to a 20-3 third quarter.
Southeastern racked up a season-high 537 yards of offense in the victory. Chason Virgil topped 300 yards passing for the third straight game, throwing for a season-high 344 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-32 passing. Cole Kelley spelled Virgil in key moments, throwing for a touchdown and also rushing for a score.
Virgil has thrown for 1,124 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions in 2019, completing 67.2 percent of his passes (90-134). Kelley has tossed four touchdowns on just 15 passes. Southeastern enters October ranked ninth in the FCS with 319.2 passing yards per game.
CJ Turner (seven catches, 128 yards, 1 TD), Bransen Schwebel (5-70) and Austin Mitchell (4-95-1 TD) were the top targets for Virgil and Kelley at NSU. Mitchell leads the team with 19 catches, 384 yards and four touchdowns. Turner (16-223-2 TD), Devonte Williams (15-155-1 TD), Schwebel (14-142-2 TD) and Javon Conner (10-95-2 TD) are the other top receivers.
In Saturday’s win, Taron Jones rushed 18 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns in his first start in place of the injured Williams. Williams still leads the team with 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
The Lion defense held NSU to 36 yards in the pivotal third quarter in Natchitoches. Alexis Ramos led SLU with eight tackles, while he and Xavier Lewis each recorded a sack.
Mike Mason leads SLU with 33 tackles, followed by Ramos (28), Donniel Ward-Magee (27), Tre’ Spann (23) and Josh Carr Jr. (22).
The Lions are currently leading the nation with 10.5 tackles for loss per game and third with 4.0 sacks per outing. Carr leads the team with 9.0 tackles for loss, followed by Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund (7.5 TFL), while the pair share team-high honors with 3.5 sacks each.
Sam Houston State outscored McNeese, 19-3, in the second half to rally for a 28-17 victory over the Cowboys. McNeese fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Cody Orgeron (958 yards, 8 TD, 5 INT) has handled the majority of the work under center for McNeese. His top targets are the pair of Cyron Sutton (24 catches, 386 yards, 3 TD) and Trevor Begue (24-311-3 TD). Elijah Mack (239 yards, 1 TD) leads the McNeese rushing attack.
McNeese has yielded 414.2 yards and 28.6 points per game. Jovon Burriss leads the Cowboys with 40 tackles, while Kordell Williams paces the squad with five tackles for loss.
Southeastern is 20-24 all-time versus the Cowboys. The Lions will be looking for its seventh all-time win in Lake Charles and first since 2013.
Southeastern will celebrate Homecoming next Saturday, hosting UIW for a 4 p.m. contest at Strawberry Stadium.