Storm bounce back from first loss with road win

Herald Democrat

MAGNOLIA, Ark. — Southeastern Oklahoma State forced three turnovers and also piled up 469 yards en route to a 38-24 win over Southern Arkansas in Great American Conference play.

Daulton Hatley put together his third 300-yard passing game of the season, finishing with 316 yards on 19-of-30 passing with a pair of touchdowns for the Savage Storm (5-1, 5-1), which picked up their first win at SAU (2-4, 2-4) since 2011.

Marquis Gray was his top target, hauling in five receptions for 136 yards and a score while CJ Shavers snagged four catches for 51 yards and a TD and also led the team with 66 yards on 14 carries for the Storm, who host Northwestern Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Paul Laird Field.

Deundre Wheeler added 56 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Maalik Hall led the defense with eight tackles and added a half tackle for a loss, while Josh Mulumba added seven stops and grabbed his first interception of the season and Kevin Simes and Ryan Taylor recovered fumbles.

Southeastern's first drive came up empty and the Muleriders answered with a five-play, 69-yard drive before the Storm held SAU to a 25-yard field goal.

On the ensuing drive, Southeastern converted third-down plays on a 13-yard Wheeler run and a 29-yard hookup from Hatley to Hunter Hawthorne, setting up a three-yard Hatley TD run to take a 7-3 lead with 3:29 to play in the first quarter.

The Muleriders went 67 yards before settling for a second 25-yard Austin Wilkerson field goal, cutting the Southeastern lead to 7-6 with 14:45 to play in the first half.

The Storm advanced to the nine-yard line on their next drive before they got a 21-yard Trey Keatts field goal and a 10-6 lead with 9:58 to go in the second quarter.

Southeastern forced a three-and-out and despite being pinned at its 10-yard line, Hatley lofted a deep pass to Gray, who finished off the 59-yard TD strike to give the Storm a 17-6 advantage with 7:26 to play in the half.

SAU tacked on a third Wilkerson field goal, this one from 37 yards out, and Southeastern took the 17-9 lead into half-time.

That margin was trimmed to 17-16 just five plays into the second half as Hayden Mallory found Micah Small for a 37-yard TD connection.

Southeastern struck back as Hatley hit back-to-back 20-plus yard passes to Gray before finding Shavers on a 32-yard touchdown throw up the right seam for a 24-16 lead with 12:02 to play in the third and the score remained that way until the fourth quarter.

SAU did get into red zone but Mulumba picked off a pass in the end zone. The Muleriders muffed the punt following the Storm's next possession and Taylor fell on the ball at the SAU 25-yard line.

Four plays later Wheeler punched it in from a yard out to push the score to 31-16 to open the final frame.

SAU put together a nine-play, 75-yard drive with Mallory hitting Small for a 39-yard touchdown and Mallory ran in the conversion, closing the gap to 31-24 with 10:27 to play.

Southeastern put the game away by driving 69 yards in 14 plays and Wheeler scored from a yard out, fashioning the final score with 4:11 to play.

The Muleriders had a chance to get closer and were inside the Storm 10-yard line but fumbled and recovered to end that threat.