|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • Sam Houston back on the road for semis

  • The Sam Houston State Bearkats, coached by former Pittsburg State great Willie Fritz, will be on the road again this week for a FCS semifinal game Saturday against co-Big Sky champ and No. 2 seed Eastern Washington.

    • email print
  • The Sam Houston State Bearkats, coached by former Pittsburg State great Willie Fritz, will be on the road again this week for a FCS semifinal game Saturday against co-Big Sky champ and No. 2 seed Eastern Washington.
    The Bearkats will be on the road on a Kerouacian scale.
    Eastern Washington’s located in Cheney (pop. 10,590), a city in Spokane County that’s approximately 2,150 miles and 30 hours from Huntsville, Texas, home of Sam Houston State. The Bearkats traveled only approximately 1,700 miles and 24 hours to Bozeman, Mont., for last week’s game against Montana State, a 34-16 win for the Bearkats.
    The Eagles of Eastern Washington (11-1) present a formidable challenge — namely quarterback Kyle Padron — a transfer from SMU who racked up six touchdown passes in a 51-35 win over Illinois State last week — and receiver Brandon Kaufman who leads EWU with 84 receptions for 1,635 yards and 13 TDs, (including nine for 191 and three TDs last week), as well as running back Vernon Adams with his 1,597 yards and 14 TDs.
    “We played some teams that throw the ball a lot but Eastern Washington does it a little differently” Fritz said in a media release. “They have some very tall and talented receivers (for example, Kaufman at 6-foot-5) but they also do a nice job of running the football. They are very balanced.
    “Eastern Washington is a very talented football team and they’re very well-coached. They’ve got a very quick team and they do a good job of not getting out of position and they tackle well.”
    Of course, the Bearkats are no strangers to facing talented offensive players. Sam Houston (10-3) faced Texas A&M (a top 10 ranked BCS program) and its Heisman Trophy-winning redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel a few weeks ago. Sam Houston lost 47-28 (Texas A&M scored the first 47, Sam Houston the final 28) and Manziel passed for 267 yards and three scores, rushed for 100 yards and two scores on 16 carries.
    Key defenders for the Bearkats include senior safety Darnell Taylor, two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Southland Conference and the school’s all-time leader in solo tackles, and senior cornerback Dax Swanson, who’s tied for the school’s all-time interceptions record (13).
    Eastern Washington and Sam Houston have one previous meeting — the quarterfinals of the 2004 FCS playoffs. Sam Houston came back from a 20-point fourth quarter deficit and won 35-34 on a 7-yard TD pass from Dustin Long to Jason Mathenia with no time left. Lance Garner’s extra point gave Sam Houston its only lead of the game and the win.
    Sam Houston looks for a return trip to the FCS title game, a game Sam Houston lost 17-6 to North Dakota State last season.

        calendar