EL DORADO, Texas – Southern Arkansas University didn’t roll over and play dead in the Murphy USA Classic at Memorial Stadium.
It would have been easy to do after the Muleriders fell behind 21-0 in the first half against fourth-ranked Ouachita Baptist University. SAU (7-2) fought within one score on two occasions, but the unbeaten Tigers (9-0) scored the game’s final 10 points for a 38-21 victory.
OBU can clinch at least a share of its second straight Great American Conference championship at UA-Monticello next week. The Tigers’ regular season finale will be at home against rival Henderson State. The Muleriders can possibly still earn a third straight bid to Texarkana’s Live United Bowl with wins over Henderson and UA-Monticello.
Southern Arkansas’ defense struggled all day against the Tigers’ offense. OBU ran for 314 yards, while sophomore quarterback Brayden Brazeal passed for another 130 and a touchdown to Allie Freeman. Senior Brockton Brown scored three touchdowns for the Tigers, leading all rushers with 149 yards on 16 carries. Former Pleasant Grove player T.J. Cole ran for 82 yards on 10 totes, while Shun’cee Thomas scored a touchdown and ran for 81 yards.
SAU didn’t quit in Murphy USA Classic
The Muleriders’ offense final started to click in the second quarter of the Murphy USA Classic. They drove 80 yards in 10 plays during the final minutes of the half for their first points. Jared Lancaster had a spectacular 19-yard touchdown reception with 29 seconds remaining. Austin Wilkerson’s PAT made it 21-7 at intermission.
SAU took the second half kickoff and marched 75 yards, scoring on a 9-yard run by Kor’Davion Washington to make it, 21-14.
Brown answered with his third six-pointer.
Washington scored again in the opening seconds of the third quarter to make it 28-21. However, a 39-yard field goal by Gabe Goodman, and 26-yard scoring run by Thomas, put the game out of reach.
Austin Guymon and Terrell Gibson led the Tigers’ defense with 11 tackles each. Briant Parker had 8 tackles for SAU, with Texarkana’s DeMarcus Pegue making 7 stops.