Storm drops heartbreaker in OT at ATU
By Matt Thomas Southeastern
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Southeastern forced a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers and turned them into touchdowns to send the game to overtime, but could not catch another break as they fell to Arkansas Tech in the extra frame 37-34 in Russellville, Ark.
The Savage Storm found itself buried in a 14-point hole when it took possession with 9:18 to play after an ATU score.
SE would take that drive 72 yards thanks to a pair of fourth-down conversions and punch it in when Nick Sioson hit Tiquarrio Combs for a 19 yard TD strike that cut the deficit to 34-27 with 5:39 to play.
The Wonder Boys had not committed a turnover on the day until the first play of the ensuing drive when Coby Ragsdale stripped Ketrich Harmon and Jacobi Crowley fell on the ball at the ATU 24 yardline.
The next drive was the Sioson and Xavier Smith show as the two connected for an 18 yard gain to the six yard line on the first play of the drive and completed it two plays later when Smith hauled in the TD strike from six yards out to knot the game at 34-34.
The Wonder Boys would take the ensuing drive down the field, however and had first-and-goal at the five yard line with less than 1:30 to play in the game.
The next play silenced the home fans as a bad snap eluded the Tech backfield and was recovered by Chad Tucker at the 20 yard line.
SE could not orchestrate a game-winning drive and ATU would have the ball last in regulation, but Raheem Wilson would pick off a Hail Mary pass at the two yard line as time expired to send the game to overtime.
The Storm was unable to pick up a first down and was forced to attempt a 40 yard field goal which missed wide left.
ATU found itself in the same boat, however Randy Velazquez connected on his attempt from 38 yards away to give the Wonder Boys the 37-34 win.
SE got on the board first in the game with a Devlon Wortham one-yard run, but a missed PAT left the score 6-0 and when Arkansas Tech answered on the ensuing drive the Storm found itself down 7-6.
They would regain the lead, however, just over two minute later when Sioson hit Anthony Foster for a 21 yard TD pass and a 13-7 lead.
ATU, however would score first in the second quarter to make the game 14-13, but SE would again answer, this time with a Wortham run from 18 yards out to go up 20-14 with 9:25 to play in the half.
The Wonder Boys would close that gap with Velazquez field goals from 31 and 24 yards, with the last coming as time expired on the half to knot the game at 20-20 at the break.
ATU came out in the second half and put up the only points of the third quarter when Harmon scored from 10 yards out, and he extended their lead to 14 points with 9:27 to play in the game with a one-yard run setting up SE’s 14-pooint comeback in the fourth quarter.
Sioson turned in a great game under center with a 28-of-51 performance for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
His two favorite receivers all season once again hitting Foster and Kaymon Farmer each seven times, with Foster finishing with 107 yards and a TD to lead the receiving corps.
Farmer added 72 yards, while Tiquarrio Combs hauled in six passes for 61 yards and a score, while Smith had 40 yards on four catches with a touchdown.
Wortham picked up 76 yards on the ground on 21 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
Chad Tucker and Zach Smith each had double-digit tackles, with Tucker turning in 13 and Smith 10.
Tucker added a fumble recovery, as did Crowley, while Ragsdale added a forced fumble and Raheem Wilson turned in an interception.
The Storm drop to 2-8 on the season and 2-7 in Great American Conference play heading into its final game of the season when it faces arch-rical East Central at 2 p.m. at Paul Laird Field for senior day.
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