Storm football falls in season’s last home game

Southeastern senior Darrin Reeves scored his first touchdown of the year on a two-yard plunge with 3:21 to play in the game to give Southeastern a 33-32 lead. However Angelo State took the ensuing drive 77 yards and scored the game-winning TD with 44 seconds to play to hand SE a 40-33 loss in the home finale on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Angelo State’s Josh Neiswander hit Tristan Carter for a three-yard touchdown with 44 seconds to play to put the Rams in front for good after SE had driven 80 yards on 16 plays to take its first lead of the game.

SE slips to 3-7 on the season with the loss and will finish the year with a road trip to Texas A&M-Kingsville at 7 p.m. on Nov. 13.

SE was led by Baylen Laury who finished the contest with 138 yards rushing and a touchdown, turning in SE’s first 1,000-yard season since 2002 and currently has 1,137 yards on the season, which is the second best single-season rushing mark in school history with one game to play.

Laury also moved into second on SE’s career rushing yardage list with 2,538 yards, passing Scott Martin who held second with 2,401. He now trails Earnest Hunter by 369 yards with one game remaining in his career.

ASU won the yardage battle with 423, doing 355 of that through the air, while SE was more balanced, but finished with 382, getting 164 on the ground and 218 through the air.

Neiswander was effective through the air, completing 37-of-60 for 355 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Carter who had 55 receiving yards on five catches.

Logan Turner finished 218 yards passing on 25-of-44 with a pair of touchdowns. He also picked up a rushing touchdown, his first of the year, scoring from 14 yards out.

In all, three different runners scored TD’s, with Laury, Reeves and Turner each scoring once on the ground.

Brandon DeFrance and Robbie Morris each pulled in a team-best eight catches, with DeFrance picking up 76 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Shelley led the Storm in receiving yardage with 789 yards on seven catches with a score.

On defense, Matthew Leatherwood picked off his second pass of the season, with Logan Russell picking up a fumble recovery.

The Storm defense forced two turnovers, while the offense committed no turnover for the first time in the season.

Brandon Ford and Brad Chesshir led the SE defense with seven tackles each, while Alex Moore, AJ Garcia and Justin Young each tallied tackles for the loss.

The Rams opened scoring with the first quarter’s lone points as Neiswander hit Carter for a 10 yard TD pass with 10:31 to play in the first to take a 7-0 lead.

That lead was stretched to 14-0 when Dakarai Pecikones scored on a one-yard pass from Neiswander with 10:52 to play in the first half.

Turner answered for the Storm with 6:57 to play with a 14 yard scramble that cut the deficit to 14-7.

The Storm looked to even the score with 22 seconds to play in the half when Turner hit Shelley for a 17 yard touchdown strike, but the Chris Peoples’ kick was blocked and returned by Terrance Preston for the two-point PAT return that set the halftime score at 16-13 in favor of the Rams.

ASU opened the second half with an 86 yard kickoff return for a score by Garrett Tidwell to mount a 22-13 lead after the PAT was no good.

Laury responded with a six-yard TD run with 10:42 to play to close the gap again to 22-20.

ASU again pushed the lead to nine points when Neiswander hit Carter for the second time on the day, this one from nine yards out, to make the score 29-20 in ASU’s favor with 2:49 to play in the third quarter.

SE struck first in the fourth quarter, with Turner finding Brandon DeFrance for a two-yard touchdown toss to close the gap to 29-27.

The Rams got a 31 yard field goal from Ryan Smith with 8:40 to play to make the score 32-27 and set up the dramatics in the final three and a half minutes.

Photos by Dan Hoke