Football ride ends in the second round
Southeastís football season came to a close in a 48-23 second-round FCS playoff loss to Weber State on Dec. 1.
Turnovers, an area Southeast had excelled in all season with a nation-leading plus-27 turnover margin, plagued the No. 20 Redhawks throughout the game as junior quarterback Daniel Santacaterina threw four interceptions, matching his season-high against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 22.
The Redhawks were the first to strike, as Santacaterina rushed for a 2-yard score with 25 seconds left in the first quarter after connecting with sophomore receiver Colby Cornett on third-and-30 to get in scoring position.
At the 10:16 mark in the second quarter, No. 2 Weber State (10-2) began a run of 34 unanswered points on a 10-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jake Constantine to sophomore receiver Rashid Shaheed to tie the game at 7-7.
Santacaterina threw his first interception at the teamís own 27-yard line, and Constantine connected with freshman receiver Devon Cooley for a 6-yard score at the 6:11 mark of the second quarter to bring the score to 13-7.
WSU faked a punt near midfield on a fourth-and-10 play and completed an 11-yard dump pass from junior punter Doug Lloyd to sophomore defensive lineman Jared Schiess to pick up the first down in its 27-point second quarter. Constantine hit sophomore receiver Isiah Jackson on a 16-yard pass to push the score to 20-7 with just under a minute left in the half.
Southeastís rough first half continued as Santacaterina threw his second interception, and Constantine hit Jackson in stride on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining in the half to extend the Wildcatsí lead to 27-7.
Constantine picked up a 10-yard rushing touchdown four minutes into the second half to move the score to 34-7 before SEMO finally responded. Freshman running back Zion Custis scored on a 4-yard run with 5:32 left in the third quarter to get Southeast back on the board, 34-14.
Early in the fourth quarter, Southeast scored on a 45-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Kendrick Tiller, and then Southeast did what it has been doing all year ó causing turnovers.
Senior linebacker Demarcus Rogers scooped and scored on a 33-yard fumble recovery to make the game interesting once again, cutting the Redhawks deficit to 34-23 with 12:41 left to play in the game.
Lloyd picked up a rushing touchdown with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and senior cornerback Jordan Preator sealed the game with a 52-yard pick-six with 7:36 left, putting the Wildcats on top 48-23.
Santacaterina threw for 110 yards and four interceptions on 12-of-30 passing, and was bested by Constantine, who threw for 199 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-30 passing.
Senior running back Treshawn Garrett led the Wildcats with 134 rushing yards on 17 carries for a blistering 7.9 yards-per-carry. Custis was the Redhawks leading rusher with 62 yards on the ground. Senior running back Marquis Terry sat out the game after a single carry due to a knee injury sustained prior to the contest.
Southeast finished its season 9-4, matching the most wins in program history.