Fresh off a spectacular performance on the road to start the season, the Southeastern Savage Storm return to open the home slate tonight when Oklahoma Baptist invades Paul Laird Field for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Coach Bo Atterberry’s club had little resistance in the opener, a 58-0 drubbing of Southern Nazarene on the road nine days ago, scoring on the game’s first play and never looking back for the largest margin of victory in a season opener in school history.
“I was proud of the way our guys executed for the opening game of the season,” Atterberry commented. “We obviously started fast, got the momentum and held it the rest of the contest. C.B. had a nice game but it starts up front with the offensive line protecting him and those receivers getting open. Our defense ran to the football well and gave great effort. It’s difficult to shut anybody out at any level and play assignment sound football.
“Overall, I thought we did a nice job of execution but there is room for improvement and hopefully we can do that in the weeks to come.”
The Savage Storm expect a much tougher test this week against an OBU club that rolled up nearly 600 yards of offense a week ago against East Central, albeit in a 55-34 loss.
In that contest the Bison rushed for a respectable 157 but threw for a whopping 440 while averaging 8.1 yards per play. They’ll have a two-headed monster at quarterback with dual threat Dezmond Stegall, who had 210 yards passing in game one, and dropback passer Preston Haire, who accounted for 230 through the air on 10 of 13 attempts.
The Storm will definitely need to keep tabs on receiving stalwart Alex Lewis, coming off a 160-yard receiving effort.
“They obviously have several guys that can hurt you,” Atterberry admitted. “They have a couple of quarterbacks with different skill sets but are both very efficient. They’ll use them both and we will have our hands full trying to slow them down.”
Defense was a completely different story for OBU, which returned just one starter, as they were shredded for 351 yards passing (including five touchdowns) as well as 195 yards on the ground.
That should be good news for a Southeastern attack that thrived on big plays in the season opener at Southern Nazarene.
“They have a lot of new faces on defense and gave up some explosive plays which you often see early in the season,” the SOSU head coach added. “They are very well coached though and give good effort, which you can see on film. I expect them to play much better on the defensive side with a game under the belts.”
Southeastern will again look to senior quarterback C.B. Cantwell to be the catalyst coming off a fantastic showing in which he completed eight of his 11 passes, all of which came in the first half, for 226 yards and three scores.
The Storm showed plenty of weapons with six different receivers catching passes in that contest.
Kenneth Burks, Kieron Hardrick and Rashod Polk all made a run at 100 yards on the ground and showed their versatility while helping Southeastern to 262 yards and four rushing scores in the debut.
They’ll try to continue that balance for the second straight week.
“The question mark now is how we handle a home game,” Atterberry added. “We hope to put a good product on the field and go compete. The weather should be terrific for September.
“No matter what happened last week, you have to bring your best every week in this league or you’re probably going to get beat. That’s why our focus is getting better daily. The opponent is us. Yes, Oklahoma Baptist is coming in but we just have to take care of our business to continue to be successful.”
Contact Kevin Farr at 580-634-2161 or email@example.com