Football team takes hard loss in bad weather

SE and ECU have long shared a heated rivalry, one that frequently results in the referees working overtime. This matchup was the first in six years to end with a loss by SE, in spite of the (unwanted) presence of the Storm’s “mascot.”

Southeastern’s  Baylen Laury turned in the sixth best rushing performance in Southeastern history with 222 yards on 22 carries with two scores, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four interceptions as East Central handed the Savage Storm a 20-19 loss on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Paul Laird Field.

Kickoff was delayed for two hours due to lightning, and the weather conditions also added a pair of stoppages during the contest for approximately an hour.

The loss drops the Storm to 3-5 on the year and 2-3 in Lone Star Conference North Division, while the Tigers improve to 3-5 on the year and 3-2 in division play.

The loss also snaps a six-game winning streak in the rivalry for the Storm and moves the all-time mark to 45-43-6 in favor of SE.

Despite a rough start to the season, the Storm entered last week’s game after two consecutive weeks of overtime wins, beating the University of Central Oklahoma 56-55 in overtime Oct. 16 and pulling off a 42-35 double ovetime win against Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Homecoming Oct. 9.

SE will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 30 when it travels to Eastern New Mexico for the North Division finale, with kickoff slated for a 3 p.m., local time.

Laury paced SE to 336 yards of offense in the game, while the defense held ECU to 216 yards of offense, including just 93 on the ground.

Logan Turner finished the night 14-of-36 for 82 yards and was picked off four times.

Chris Peoples gave SE the early 3-0 lead when he hit a 21 yard field goal with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter, and Laury extended the advantage to 10-0 at the 14:54 mark of the second quarter with a nine yard run.

ECU cut the deficit to 10-7 when Tyler Vanderzee found Zack Patterson for a 33 yard TD toss.

Markell Walker gave ECU the 14-10 lead with 9:40 to play in the third quarter when he picked off a tipped pass and returned it 100 yards for a score.

Laury answered, however, with a 70 yard run on the ensuing drive to put the Storm back in front 16-14 following a blocked PAT.

Peoples hit his second field goal of the day, this one from 24 yards out with 2:05 to play, giving SE a 19-14 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

ECU, however, would have the last word as Dontae Smith picked off a pass and returned it 36 yards for a score to put ECU up 20-19.

SE would have one last possession with under two minutes to play, but a fourth-down pass from Turner to Ryan Shelley fell incomplete.

Photos by David Reagan