Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Flournoy shines in Tennessee Tech victory despite DeLaurent’s injury

Saturday, October 21, 2023
Senior wide receiver Ryan Flournoy adds yards after the catch against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Oct. 21. Flournoy would finish the game with 6 catches for 203 yards and 1 touchdown.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

SEMO football defeated the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Oct. 21, putting the Redhawks at 3-4 on the season and 3-0 in conference play.

SEMO was led at quarterback by redshirt freshman Patrick Heitert who came in relief of junior Paxton DeLaurent, who injured his throwing shoulder in the second quarter. Head coach Tom Matukewicz said Heitert is someone who has belief from his teammates.

“He’s Mr. Consistent, our team believes in him. He’s just a man’s man. The way he goes about his business, he has a lot of respect in the locker room,” Matukewicz said.

Junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent walks the sidelines during SEMO's 28-3 victory over Tennessee Tech. DeLaurent left the game with an apparent shoulder injury after being sacked early in the second quarter.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

Matukewicz also provided an update on DeLaurent’s injury.

“He had a shoulder injury and couldn’t go. They’ll have to MRI and everything, I would imagine he’s out at least this week,” Matukewicz said.

Heitert was also aided by senior wide receiver Ryan Flournoy, who finished the game with 6 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown.

“He’s a special guy and I think the Redhawks need to appreciate what we’re watching because I think he’s gonna do the same thing in the NFL. He is a dynamite player,” Matukewicz said.

The victory also marked a big first for the Redhawks. In a season where SEMO has blown three fourth quarter leads, they did not allow a single point in the final quarter.

“We flew around, we played hard, we played fast, played physical. More importantly we did our job,” senior inside linebacker Christian Fuhrman said.

After last week's victory over Eastern Illinois, Matukewicz called out his team's performance, but this week there was praise.

“I think they responded well, and I just tried to get them to think about life after football. Like who are you and what are you gonna do when the plot stops?” Matukewicz said. “I thought today was a really good sign and now we gotta keep it up.”

The victory puts the Redhawks at 3-0 in OVC/Big South conference play. SEMO will travel to face Nichols in a non-conference game on Oct. 28, before returning to Houck stadium to face Robert Morris on Nov. 4 in a OVC/Big South game.

“We have no room for error. If we lose we out of the playoffs, so we just got to play with a chip on our shoulder every game,” Flournoy said.