Lumberjacks Win Season Opener
Sept. 1, 2005
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team overcame five turnovers to defeat Henderson State, 49-38, Thursday night at Homer Bryce Stadium. The victory propelled SFA to 1-0 to start the 2005 season.
The 'Jacks fell behind by 21 points as Henderson State capitalized on early SFA miscues. HSU opened the scoring when Jabrayl Ward recovered a fumble and returned it 11 yards for the score.
The Lumberjacks trailed by 14 points in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Danny Southall appeared to have the team on the move. Southall streaked across the middle of the field for 30 yards down to the HSU 14 before coughing up the ball to end the drive. HSU responded by driving the ball 84 yards for the score.
SFA seemed to steal a little of the momentum back when freshman running back Damian Perkins scored on a 3-yard run with 1:21 remaining in the half, but the 'Jacks left a little too much time on the clock. HSU quarterback Dane King orchestrated a six-play, 47-yard drive that culminated in a Bryan Woodward 45-yard field goal that put the Reddies up 24-7 heading into halftime.
First-year head coach Robert McFarland didn't let his team go down without a fight and SFA responded by scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half. Senior wide out Carl Price began the rally when he caught a 28-yard pass from classmate Zeke Dixon. It was one of three touchdown passes for Dixon on the night as he finished the game 27-of-45 for 338 yards. SFA was back on the attack less than five minutes later as Dixon hit fullback Michael Motte for a four-yard score.
Motte returned to pay dirt only 22 seconds later when SFA forced a fumble on the HSU 17. Motte's second touchdown covered 17 yards and put SFA up, 28-24. The Lumberjacks didn't surrender the lead over the final 17:37 of the game and tacked on 21 more points for the victory.
The 'Jacks racked up 517 yards of total offense in the victory, including 353 through the air. Dixon and Southall did a good job of spreading the wealth as eight different receivers caught a pass, including Chance Dennis, who finished the game with nine catches for 118 yards. Motte hauled in five receptions for 68 yards and two scores.
Perkins led the ground attack, finishing the night with 20 carries for 77 yards and two scores.
Sophomore Stephon Rhea had a huge night defensively for the 'Jacks finishing with five tackles (three solo stops), four pass deflections and two interceptions, one of which he returned 10 yards for a touchdown. Junior Keldrick Holman led the SFA defense with nine tackles, including one for a loss.
The 'Jacks return to action Saturday, Sept. 10, when they travel to Bozeman, Montana to take on Montana State. The game is slated to kick off at 2:05 p.m. and will be televised on CBS-19.