by Zachary Maag
Southern Utah University got their first win of the new season after dropping their first two games against formidable FBS teams in blowout fashion. In their third game of the season, the Thunderbirds traveled to Arlington, Texas to take on the Tarleton State Texans. They won a shootout game by a score of 40-35.
After scoring just 14 points in each of their first two games, coach Demario Warren knew the offense had to step up, and that’s what they did. The SUU offense had a total of 459 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns. Justin Miller was responsible for 304 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Brandon Schenks was Miller’s favorite receiver of the night, tallying seven receptions for 109 yards, along with three touchdowns. Karris Davis was the leading rusher on the day with 12 rushes for 50 yards. He also had what ended up being the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard rush in the last two minutes of the contest.
For the first time this season, the Thunderbirds held their opponents to under 40 points a game. Although the defense struggled by allowing over 400 yards from scrimmage, they came up big when it mattered. La’akea Kaho’ohanohano-Davis intercepted a pass from Steven Duncan with 1:12 left on the clock in the fourth quarter and a five point lead in hand. This effectively ended the game and was possibly the best play of the night. He also added 12 tackles including a sack. AJ Stanley and Francis Bemily had career days by achieving 11 tackles apiece.
The Thunderbird’s current record sits at 1-2 as they jump into Big Sky Conference play. Their next game is Saturday, September 25, at 6 p.m. at home against the number six ranked Eastern Washington University. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ where everyone with a subscription can watch.
Featured image courtesy of Southern Utah University Athletics.