SFA Survives Southern Utah, 24-21
Sept. 25, 2004
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- The fifth ranked Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (4-0) survived a scare Saturday night with a 24-21 win over the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah (1-2). Ryan Rossner's 53-yard field goal as time expired proved to be the game winner as the 'Jacks came from behind for their fourth straight win to open the year. Southern Utah had tied the score at 21-21 with :39 to play forcing Rossner's late heroics.
SFA then drove 35-yards in six plays to the Southern Utah 36-yard line to set up Rossner's game winner. Michael Williams capped a good night running the ball with a seven yard gain tbefore Rossner's kick sealed the win. Williams ended the night with 14 carries for 65 yards to lead SFA's ground game. Tony Tompkins also added 51 yards on five carries and a touchdown. He scored on a 35-yard run midway through the third quarter to tie the score at 14-14. Tompkins also added three receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 12-yarder from Michael Williams for the game's first score.
The 'Jacks were without the services of Derek Farmer, held out of the game with a bruised hip suffered in the Northern Iowa game a week ago. True freshman Louie Runnels came off the bench and scored on the first play of the fourth quarter to give SFA a 21-14 lead. Runnels ended the night with eight carries for 38 yards and a score.
Southern Utah quarterback Casey Rehrer answered every challenge Saturday night as the completed 28 of 44 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted once. Southern Utah outgained the Lumberjacks 445 to 347 yards in total offense for the game. The Thunderbirds passed for 309 yards and three touchdowns with A.J. Smith throwing the third touchdown pass of the game to Jerome Eason who caught all three scoring passes for Southern Utah.
SFA takes next week off before hosting Florida International, Oct. 9 in Homer Bryce Stadium.