ARKADELPHIA, AK – The Southeastern offense posted its best yardage output of the season, racking up 454 yards against sixth-ranked Ouachita Baptist, but were bitten by a pair of turnovers which were both turned into points in a 27-14 road loss on Saturday afternoon in Arkadelphia, Ark.
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," said head coach Tyler Fenwick. "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."
SE outgained the Tigers 454-to-360 in total offensive yardage, 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, putting up 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 yards, while Rollin Kinsaul put up 27 yards on seven carries.
Kinsaul led the way through the air with a 23-for-33 effort 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, with Braxton Kincade turning in 35 yards on three receptions while Polk posted four catches for 21 yards.
Defensively Ja'Lon Freeman turned in an 11 tackle effort, adding a half tackle for a loss and a forced fumble, while Josh Mulumba also posted 11 stops.
Taivian Rucker, Conner Swope, Brandon Swope, and Jonathan Torres each added six tackles, while Conner Swope and Alexce Marshall posted tackles for loss.
OBU received the ball to start the contest and 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 defenses for both teams would then step up and trade three-and-outs before the Tigers would take over at the Storm 39 yardline after a Freeman punt return and move the ball the remaining 39 yards on six plays in 2:53 to take a 14-0 lead after a Brockton Brown one-yard scoring run with 53 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Southeastern would go scoreless on its next drive, but the defense looked to have made big plays on back-to-back plays, first when Freeman forced a fumble which was recovered by OBU and a play later when the ball appeared to be pried free again before the play was whistled dead.
The Tigers would continue that drive down to the Storm one-yard line where SE's defense would get back-to-back stops on third and fourth down to keep OBU off the scoreboard and take over at the one yard line.
SE would drive the ball all the way across midfield to the Ouachita Baptist 36 yard line before a Kinsaul pass was tipped and picked off by OBU's Hayden Lassiter who returned it to midfield.
The Tigers would take advantage of the bad break for the Storm by driving to the SE seven yard line before Gabe Goodman connected on a 24 yard field goal as time expired to go ahead 17-7 at halftime.
Southeastern got the ball to start the second half and drove to the OBU 28 yard line but the drive would end on a missed field goal and no points.
The tigers would respond with a 15-play, 65 yard drive that lasted 7:18 and was capped by a Gabe Goodman 24-yard field goal to stretch its edge to 20-7 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter.
The next Storm drive would end after four plays with an interception and a play later Brazeal would connect with Freeman for 51 yards and a touchdown to open up a 27-7 lead with 3:29 to go in the third quarter.
Southeastern would take its first drive of the fourth quarter 62 yards before failing to convert on fourth down at the Tiger eight yardline.
The Storm defense would eventually force a punt on the ensuing OBU drive and move the ball back across midfield 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.
SE would get the ball back one last time with 35 seconds to play but were unable to get any points, leaving the final score at 27-14.