Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Redhawks take first conference loss in Robert Morris matchup

Saturday, November 4, 2023
Senior receiver Ryan Flournoy runs the ball during Saturday's matchup with Robert Morris. SEMO came up short 20-21.
Photo by Chandler Davis

The Redhawks are now 3-1 in conference play with Saturday afternoon’s 21-20 loss to Robert Morris University (RMU) at Houck Stadium. This loss drops them from their first place standing to third in the Ohio Valley Conference.

On the first drive of the game, senior defensive lineman LaWilliam Holmes blocked RMU’s 20-yard field goal attempt to set the tone. But on SEMO’s first offensive play, redshirt freshman quarterback Patrick Heitert threw an interception that eventually led to an RMU touchdown later in the drive.

Heitert finished the game completing 14-of-33 passes and threw for just 144 yards and a touchdown.

“At the end of the day we weren’t able to score enough to have a lot of margins,” head coach Tom Matukewicz said. “Any one possession game you can lose or win. There’s nothing magical how things ended.”

Senior kicker DC Pippin put SEMO’s first points on the board with a 33-yard field goal with just under three minutes left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, senior receiver Dalyn McDonald made an incredible 32-yard catch over two RMU defenders to set up a touchdown from junior receiver Dorian Anderson. Anderson’s 4-yard touchdown catch was the first of the game for the Redhawks, and also the first of his career.

About halfway through the second quarter, junior linebacker Bryce Norman forced a fumble off RMU’s quarterback, recovered it and ran it in for a touchdown. This 46-yard fumble return put the Redhawks up 17-14 going into halftime.

“I think we made some big plays,” Norman said. “We had a good goal line stop, it’s 3rd-and-1, 4th-and-1. We stuffed them, gave our offense a chance. I thought our guys played really hard on the defense side of the ball.”

The only points the Redhawks put on the board in the third quarter came from a 43-yard field goal from Pippin. Both teams were scoreless in the fourth, but SEMO was able to stuff RMU on 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line on their first drive of the quarter, and forced them to punt once.

On the defensive side, Norman led the way once again with twelve tackles. He also had a career-high three sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss. Graduate student Lawrence Johnson trailed Norman with nine tackles, and junior linebacker Christian Fuhrman followed close behind with seven.

“I loved how we fought until the end,” Matukewicz said. “Just disappointed in how it went down.”

The Redhawks have completed their four home games and are now on a two game stretch on the road. Coach Matukewicz and the team will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 11 as they travel to Martin, Tennessee to play the University of Tennessee at Martin. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Hardy M. Graham Stadium.