DURANT, Okla. — Despite mounting 425 yards of total offense, Southeastern Oklahoma State was plagued by turnovers in a 35-17 home opening loss against Southwestern Oklahoma State at Paul Laird Field in Great American Conference play and new head coach Tyler Fenwick’s debut.
“That’s a good football team over there,” Fenwick said. “When we’re clicking and doing things right we are pretty tough to stop and when we’re doing things right on defense we are as good as anybody.
“We just made too many mistakes. We talk about it all week that the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win and we just made too many. For us its just bouncing back and learn from it.”
Despite the outcome, the Storm had its bright spots as the offense outgained SWOSU with quarterbacks Rollin Kinsaul and Daulton Hatley combined for 347 yards passing and Kinsaul producing 193 of that on 22-of-38 passing before Hatley added 154 on 14-of-25 with a touchdown.
Braxton Kindcade was the team’s top target with 106 yards on nine grabs with a long of 38 while Felton Hatcher finished just shy of triple digits with 97 yards on eight catches.
Duce Pittman and Katrell Blakely each had five catches and Blakely scored his first touchdown.
Hatley added another TD on the ground but the Storm struggled to run the ball, finishing with 78 yards on the ground, led by CJ Shavers who had 52 yards on 11 carries.
The defense was paced by Conner Swope, who picked up where he left off in 2018, finishing with 10 tackles, 1.5 of them for loss, and added a pass breakup.
Jeremiah Baltrip, Ja’Lon Freeman and Josh Mulumba each had a pair of pass breakups and Freeman totaled eight tackles.
The Storm finished with six tackles for loss on the night.
After a slow start saw neither team score in the opening quarter, SWOSU struck first in the second on a 27-yard Tyler Marr run with 10:58 to play to open scoring and the Bulldogs tacked on another with a two-yard Houston run with 1:58 to go in the half to take a 14-0 lead at the intermission.
Pablo Tarango got Southeastern on the board by hitting his first career field goal attempt from 45 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-3.
However, SWOSU answered with 4:17 to go in the third with a Marr-to-DJ Hicks 55-yard TD pass to take a 21-3 lead.
Hatley again trimmed that deficit with a one-yard QB sneak for a score with 11:24 to play in the game, but a missed two-point-try left the Storm trailing 21-9.
The Bulldogs added another score with 7:18 remaining and again Southeastern had an answer when Hatley hit Blakely for a nine-yard TD strike to cap a 13-play, 79-yard drive with 3:02 to play.
However, a late Storm turnover allowed SWOSU to tack on a final score, this one a Houston run from 20 yards to set the final score at 35-17.