SFA comeback falls short to SHSU at Battle of the Piney Woods
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 09:10
After defeating the Bears of Central Arkansas last week, the Lumberjacks fell short to Sam Houston State on Saturday 51-43. SFA had won one of the previous meetings at Reliant Stadium for the Battle of the Piney Woods and had the opportunity to tie on the last drive of the game. But the Jacks couldn’t convert and fell to the Bearkats.
SFA quarterback Brady Attaway threw for a career-high 545 yards on another career-high 76 pass attempts and six touchdowns in the game.
Three of the five touchdowns were caught by senior Cordell Roberson who had 14 catches for 199 yards in the game. After becoming the Southland Conference’s all-time leader in career touchdown receptions last week against Central Arkansas, Roberson’s 14-catch effort on Saturday made him SFA’s all-time leader in career receptions with 204, passing teammate Graylin Crawford who is out with an injury.
“I think Cordell is unbelievable,” according to Lumberjack head coach J. C. Harper. “He came to SFA as a freshman and could have played somewhere else, but wanted to start. He has started since his freshman year. He is just unbelievable.”
Harper’s game plan going into the game was to stop Bearkat running back and Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders on the ground. The Lumberjacks bottled up Flanders in the first quarter, allowing just 19 yards on nine carries. The rest of the game was a different story, as Flanders ended up with 125 yards on 27 carries for the contest.
SFA’s running game was nonexistent as running back Gus Johnson was held to 21 yards on six carries. Because the Jacks were playing from behind most of the game and the running game was so ineffective, Harper elected not to even attempt a single rushing play in the second half.
SFA took a 14-3 lead in the beginning of the second quarter and looked well on their way to knocking off their second nationally-ranked opponent in consecutive weeks. But, just as SFA had the momentum, Bearkat cornerback Bookie Sneed returned an Attaway interception a school-record 92 yards for a touchdown on the other end with 3:34 left in the 2nd quarter. That play was part of a 41-7 run by the Bearkats to blow the game wide open.
After trailing by 32 points in the middle of the third quarter, Attaway and company ignited a comeback of their own. The Jacks received a punt, down just 8 points, with 3:10 left to go in the game and began to march downfield. Their potential game-winning drive was stalled after a 4th and 10 pass hit the turf with 28 seconds to go. SFA had no timeouts left after the turnover on downs and the Bearkats took a knee to run out the clock and drop the Lumberjacks to 2-4 on the season and 1-1 in the conference.
The taste of this loss will be in the Lumberjacks’ mouths for an extra week as they have a bye coming up this weekend before they square off against Nicholls State Oct. 20 at Homer Bryce Stadium at 3 p.m.