Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Football falls to #16 Kansas State in season opener

Sunday, September 3, 2023
The Redhawks are led onto the field by senior defensive linemen Steven Lewis (99), Lunden Manuel (50), junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent (10) and junior offensive lineman Kobe Sixkiller (69), before losing 45-0 to the Kansas State Wildcats on Sept. 2 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, KS.
Photo by Hunter Caldwell

SEMO football fell 45-0 to the 16th ranked team in the country, Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday September 2 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, KS.

The Redhawks opened with the ball going three and out in the initial drive, giving the ball back to Kansas State. The Wildcats were then able to put the first points on the board with a 33-yard touchdown pass from senior Quarterback Will Howard, who went 6-6 on the drive.

The Redhawks again stalled on their second drive but were able to grab some momentum when junior Defensive Back Antonio Taylor was able to grab an interception, but the Redhawk offense was not able to capitalize and put points on the board.

SEMO head coach Tom Matukewicz was impressed by Taylor’s play and said the Redhawks had focused on forcing more turnovers this year.

“We were playing man to man and he was the free guy, he read the quarterback and made a nice play,” coach Matukewicz said. “That was something that we felt like we needed to get better from a year ago, so that was a big bright spot for me.”

The Redhawk’s offense was not able to get much going for the first half, especially on the ground where they ended the half with -12 rushing yards. SEMO’s defense meanwhile gave up 395 total yards to the Wildcats, who tripled SEMO’s first half total of 113 yards.

The second half was more of the same for the Redhawks as they would go on to lose 45-0 to the Wildcats.

Graduate student running back Geno Hess was held to just -4 yards on the ground on 10 carries while adding 23 yards on 3 receptions. Coach Matukewicz said that Kansas State’s play on the defensive line was one of the key factors of the game.

“It was everything. They dominated the line of scrimmage, and so you just stop trying to run it because we weren’t able to,” Matukewicz said.

Even with the score, there were some bright spots for the Redhawks. One of those according to Coach Matukewicz was the Redhawk passing game.

“When you can’t run it, those turnovers start to pile up, so I was happy with that. I thought Ryan had a nice day. I thought Vick had some nice run after catches, and Paxton had a clean game,” Matukewicz said.

Senior wide receiver Ryan Flournoy finished with 10 receptions for 96 yards. Junior Quarterback Paxton DeLaurent passed for 213 yards, completing 24-36 passes without a single turnover. Senior Damoriea Vick added 52 receiving yards on 7 receptions, with 46 of those coming after the catch.

The Redhawks will be back at Houck Field for their home opener against Lindenwood on Sep. 9 at 6 p.m.