A couple of frustrating close losses has the Savage Storm football team ready for a badly-needed win at the midpoint of the season.
Their best opportunity yet is this Saturday, when Southeastern travels to Alva to take on the Northwestern Oklahoma Rangers. Game time is set for 3 p.m.
The Rangers have moved up to Division II this season and are in their provisional year of Great American Conference membership. So far, they are 0-6, giving up 51 points per game and coming off a 41-3 loss against the ECU Tigers.
But it will be Homecoming up in Alva, and Southeastern Coach Ray Richards never underestimates an opponent.
“They’ve got a couple of good receivers and their quarterback is a nice player. We think they’ll throw a bunch, that’s what they’ve done for the last couple of weeks,” Richards said. “Keeping them in check is going to be a big deal. We need to stop their run game and make it a one-dimensional game.”
The Savage Storm is coming off a 45-38 loss against Arkansas Tech, a game that saw the Storm ahead by 17 in the third quarter. The loss dropped them to an ominous 0-4 in the conference and 1-4 overall this season.
“We do some good things, but we have to do more,” Richards said. “We need to win at this point, it’s not just about playing well. We always play hard on game day. But we talked about practicing harder, giving more focus in practice and executing more in practice – going full speed.
“Hopefully, come game day, we’ll make fewer mistakes and execute better. Every week there will be crucial plays and the game will be determined on those plays,” he said. “If it’s a close game, it will come down to those one or two plays.”
Unfortunately, the season-long injury bug has left the Storm “still banged up,” especially along the defensive line.
“I may gain a couple of guys, but they’re not full speed,” Richards said. “But we’re a lot closer to getting those guys back.”
That’s good news, as the Savage Storm enter their final five football games with a truly good shot at stringing together some late-season victories, starting at Northwestern this Saturday.
Game Notes from Southeastern Sports Communications:
Against the Rangers… Saturday marks the 71st meeting all-time between Southeastern and Northwestern Oklahoma State. With NWOSU joining the GAC this season it makes the Rangers SE’s third-longest running rivalry in the league behind ECU and Southwestern Oklahoma State. The two schools last met in 2009 with SE coming out on top with a 29-9 victory which was its third in-a-row int he series. The Storm owns the overall series mark with a 41-28-1 mark. The first matchup was a 26-0 SE win in 1914 and the most consecutive wins by either team int he series is seven by SE from 1938 through 1949.
Notes from last time out… SE’s 336 yards rushing is the most as a team this season, as are the four rushing touchdowns scored… SE held a 489-to-428 advantage in total offense and has outgained four of its five opponents this season… Ladarius Abrams turned in a season-best 178 yards rushing… Abrams and Jercolby Bradley ebcome the first duo to each post 100-yard outings this year… Bradley has posted back-to-back 100-yard performances… Bradley has thrown for our run for a TD in all five games… Izzy Eziakor has posted double-digit tackle totals in three-of-five games, including 11 against ATU.