Southeastern football pulls off upset of 12th-ranked Harding

Herald Democrat

DURANT, Okla. — After going 91 yards on a drive capped by Skye Lowe's four-yard touchdown catch from Daulton Hatley with under a minute to play, Southeastern Oklahoma State went for the lead and ultimately the win when Hatley connected with Pablo Perini for the two-point conversion in the Storm's 32-31 victory against No. 12 Harding in Great American Conference play.

The Savage Storm (2-0, 2-0) collected its first win over a ranked team since knocking off Southern Arkansas in 2018 while also picking up its first win over the Bisons since joining the Great American Conference, snapping a nine-game skid in the series.

Hatley threw for 281 yards on 27-of-40 attempts with one touchdown while Braxton Kincade tacked on a 39-yard passing TD on a trick play to Perini in the first quarter.

Kincade finished with eight catches for 90 yards, while Katrell Blakely added six catches for 42 yards.

CJ Shavers led the rushing effort with 55 yards on 14 carries and Deundre Wheeler carried five times for 19 yards and a pair of TDs.

Hunter Wageneck led the Storm with seven total tackles, Maalik Hall had two tackles for loss and T.J. Davis and Alexce Marshall each recorded a sack.

The Storm had pushed its lead out to 24-10 following Wheeler’s second rushing score of the night with 9:04 to go in the third quarter.

However, Taylor Bissell had a 59-yard touchdown run in the third before Cole Chancey and Omar Sinclair each added fourth-quarter rushing scores as Harding went in front, 31-24, with 3:45 to play.

A penalty on the ensuing kickoff return put the Storm at its own nine-yard line seeking the tying touchdown.

Southeastern's drive was helped by a Harding targeting penalty to convert a third-and-long early in the possession, which ended up spanning 11 plays, the last being Lowe's TD grab with 46 seconds left.

Perini's conversion catch in the end zone put Harding in an urgent position.

Davis and Marshall had sacks on the final drive and Jeremiah Baltrip broke up a fourth-down pass to preserve the victory.

Harding got on the board first as Grant Ennis made a 51-yard field goal at the 10:26 mark.

After trading possessions, Southeastern pick up a pair of first downs before Kincade carried on a the reverse and then passed to Perini down the left side for a 39-yard TD and a 7-3 lead with 3:11 to play in the first.

The next time the Storm had the ball it went 80 yards in 10 plays and opening the second quarter with a 12-yard Wheeler TD run to push the lead to 14-3.

Trey Keatts booted a 31-yard field goal with 2:56 to play in the first half for a 17-3 advantage.

The Bisons used big plays to get a touchdown and close to within 17-10 at half-time.

After forcing a three-and-out to open the second half, the Storm again put together a 10-play drive, this time marching 64 yards with Wheeler scoring from a yard out to make it 24-10 with 9:04 to play in the third.

After Bissell pulled Harding within a touchdown, Chancey tied the score at 24 on a three-year run with 11:15 remaining.

Sinclair's 16-yard TD run forced the Storm to to rally in the final four minutes.