Matt Thomas, Sports Information Director
DURANT – Despite mounting 425 yards of total offense, Southeastern was plagued by turnovers in a 35-17 home opening loss against Southwestern Oklahoma State on Thursday night at Paul Laird Field.
The Savage Storm drop to 0-1 to open the year as well as new head coach Tyler Fenwick‘s era with the Savage Storm.
SE still holds a lead in the all-time series with the Bulldogs at 47-38-3, but had its two-game win streak snapped.
“That’s a good football team over there,” said Fenwick following the opener. “When we’re clicking and doing things right we are pretty tough to stop and when we’re doing things right on defense we are as good as anybody.”
“We just made too many mistakes,” he continued. “We talk about it all week that the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win and we just made too many. For us its just bouncing back and learn from it.”
Despite the outcome the Storm had its bright spots, with the offense outgaining SWOSU 425-to-409, with quarterbacks Rollin Kinsaul and Daulton Hatley combined for 347 yards passing, with Kinsaul turning in 193 on 22-of-38 passing before Hatley added 154 on 14-of-25 with a touchdown.
Braxton Kindcade was the team’s top target with 106 yards on nine grabs with a long of 38 yards, while Felton Hatcher finished just shy of triple digits with 97 yards on eight catches.
Duce Pittman and Katrell Blakely each had five catches, with Blakely scoring his first touchdown.
Hatley would add another TD on the ground, while the Storm struggled to run the ball, finishing with 78 yards on the ground, led by CJ Shavers who had 52 yards on 11 carries.
The defense was paced by Conner Swope who picked up where he left off, finishing with 10 tackles, 1.5 of them for loss and added a pass breakup.
Jeremiah Baltrip, Ja’Lon Freeman, and Josh Mulumba each had a pair of pass breakups, while Freeman added eight tackles.
The Storm finished with six tackles for loss on the night.
After a slow start saw neither team score in the opening quarter, it was SWOSU who struck first in the second on a 27 yard Tyler Marr run with 10:58 to play to open scoring and the Bulldogs would tack on another with a two-yard Houston run with 1:58 to go in the half to take a 14-0 lead at the intermission.
Pablo Tarango would get SE on the board by hitting his first career field goal attempt from 45 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-3.
However, SWOSU answered with 4:17 to go in the third with a Marr to DJ Hicks 55 yard TD pass to take a 21-3 lead.
Hatley would again trim that deficit with a one-yard QB sneak for a score with 11:24 to play in the game, but a missed two-point-try would leave the Storm trailing 21-9.
The Bulldogs would add another score with 7:18 to play and again SE had an answer when Hatley hit Blakely for a nine-yard TD strike to cap a 13-play, 79-yard drive with 3:02 to play.
However, a late SE turnover would allow SWOSU to tack on a final score, this one a Houston run from 20 yards to set the final score at 35-17.