ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — The Southeastern Oklahoma State offense posted its best yardage of the season, racking up 454 yards against sixth-ranked Ouachita Baptist, but were bitten by a pair of turnovers in a 27-14 loss in Great American Conference play.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 1-4 on the season as they will now eye a return home on Oct. 12 to host Arkansas-Monticello at 2 p.m. at Paul Laird Field.
“I think every game is an evaluation of where we are at,” Southeastern head coach Tyler Fenwick said. “We competed with them and played with them. I told our guys that’s a good program and an established program. We hung with them there. I don’t think we are that far off. We are competing with the best team in the conference. It’s tough right now, but when you look at the big picture of where we are trying to go and you see these young guys stepping up and battling.”
Southeastern (1-4, 1-4) outgained the Tigers (5-0, 5-0) by a 454-360 yardage margin, putting up 283 through the air and averaging 6.3 yards per carry on the ground to finish with 171 yards rushing.
Rashod Polk became the team’s first 100-yard rusher on the season with 104 yards on 11 carries, bolstered by his 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Taylor added 34 yards, including a long of 20 and Rollin Kinsaul put up 27 yards on seven carries.
Kinsaul was 23-for-33 passing for 211 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off twice. Daulton Hatley came off the bench to connect on 8-of-14 passes for 72 yards.
Felton Hatcher hauled in a team-high nine catches for 89 yards while Katrell Blakely had his most productive day with eight grabs for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Duce Pittman added three catches for 41 yards, Braxton Kincade turned in 35 yards on three receptions and Polk posted four catches for 21 yards.
Defensively Ja’Lon Freeman had 11 tackles and a forced fumble while Josh Mulumba also posted 11 stops.
Taivian Rucker, Conner Swope, Brandon Swope and Jonathan Torres each added six tackles.
Ouachita Baptist took the early 7-0 lead after driving 63 yards on eight plays in 4:22 before Brayden Brazeal connected with Allie Freeman on a 10-yard TD strike.
Southeastern answered on its ensuing drive, getting runs of 19 and 13 yards from Polk and a 4-of-5 effort from Kinsaul, which included a six-yard touchdown toss to Blakely to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive that burned 4:28 off the clock.
The teams traded three-and-outs before the Tigers took over at the Storm 39-yard line after a Freeman punt return and moved 39 yards in six plays to take a 14-0 lead after Brockton Brown’s one-yard scoring run with 53 seconds to play in the first quarter.
The Storm kept the margin there when OBU reached the one-yard line but Southeastern had back-to-back stops on third and fourth down to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard.
Southeastern drove all the way to the Ouachita Baptist 36 before Kinsaul’s pass was tipped and picked off by Hayden Lassiter.
The Tigers took advantage as Gabe Goodman connected on a 24-yard field goal as time expired to go ahead 17-7 at half-time.
Southeastern opened the third quarter by reaching the OBU 28-yard line but missed a field goal attempt.
The Tigers went the other way with a 15-play, 65-yard drive that was capped by a Goodman 24-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 20-7 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter.
The next Storm drive ended with an interception and a play later Brazeal connected with Freeman for a 51-yards TD to open up a 27-7 lead with 3:29 to go in the third quarter.
Southeastern’s first drive of the fourth quarter went 62 yards before turning it over on downs at the Tiger eight-yard line.
The Storm forced a punt before Polk converted a fourth-and-one run into a 41-yard touchdown to close the gap to 27-14 with 1:38 to play in the game.