SEMO football opens new stadium with 45-7 victory over Lindenwood
In the season opener for a newly renovated Houck Stadium, SEMO football was able to deliver a victory to the fans.
After last week’s 45-0 loss to Kansas State the Redhawks rebounded with a 45-7 victory over the Lindenwood Lions.
Junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent said that playing in front of the fans in the new Houck Field was one of the most enjoyable games of his life.
“That was one of the most fun games I've ever played in my life, and I was so grateful for the fans and the experience,” DeLaurent said.
SEMO would immediately put points up on the board in their opening drive, marching down the field down for a 13 play 85 yard drive ending in a 2 yard touchdown pass from DeLaurent to senior wide receiver Ryan Flournoy.
The Redhawk defense kept the momentum going with an interception from junior defensive back Antonio Taylor, ending Lindenwood’s opening drive. The Redhawks would capitalize off the turnover with senior kicker DC Pippin nailing a 37 yard field goal.
It would be all Redhawks for the rest of the first half. The Redhawks entered the intermission leading 38-0. The half was capped off with a pick 6 returned 72 yards by sophomore defensive back Henry Pickens III.
Pickens said that the play was something that he had studied on film this week.
“We had seen a play like that, I think versus Central Arkansas, but their cornerback had dropped it,” Pickens said. “I had to capitalize off that because I know that quarterback is gonna be looking for that same route.”
In the second half the Redhawks offense slowed down, but the defense held strong. As they only allowed one touchdown to Lindenwood while finishing the game with three takeaways. Head coach Tom Matukewicz said that if the redhawks can keep winning the turnover battle like they did today it will be hard for them to lose.
“If we could keep that up, we may not lose. if you go plus three [in the turnover battle], you win like 96% of your games in the NFL,” coach Matukewicz.
On offense one of the key differences from the Kansas State loss was SEMO’s performance in the run game. After only rushing for six total yards last week the Redhawks ran 214 against Lindenwood, including 116 from graduate student running back Geno Hess.
DeLaurent said the offensive line was able to rise to the challenge, leading to the Redhawks’ performance on the ground
“We asked them to step up and they did. I was very proud of that,” DeLaurent said “They had big holes, making it where any running back come in and run the ball.”
The Redhawks will be back at Houck field for a match up with Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. on September 16.