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Southeastern surges past Central Arkansas

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InformationSoutheastern defenders Dereck Robinson, Isiah Corbett,Tupou Aleamotua and Drew Misita swarm Central Arkansas wide receiver Jatavious Wilson in the first half Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — In front of one of the largest crowds in school history, the Southeastern Louisiana football team put on a show in its homecoming game against Central Arkansas. The Bears kept it close for the majority of the game, including closing the deficit to three points with only a few minutes to play, but… Continue reading →

SLU surges past UCA

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InformationSoutheastern defenders Dereck Robinson, Isiah Corbett,Tupou Aleamotua and Drew Misita swarm Central Arkansas wide receiver Jatavious Wilson in the first half Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

In front of one of the largest crowds in school history, the Southeastern Louisiana University football team put on a show for its homecoming game against Central Arkansas. The Bears kept it close for the majority of the game — including closing the deficit to just three points with only a few minutes to play —… Continue reading →

Lions seek fast start in SLC showdown

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Northwestern State's Garrett Atzenweiler (31) carries the ball against Southern, Saturday, Sept. 13, at A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge.

HAMMOND — It may have sounded a bit harsh to take the brunt of the criticism. When asked about the offense’s propensity for slow starts in four of the team’s past five games, Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett stepped forward with his hand raised high. “That’s my fault,” Bennett said. “Those guys are… Continue reading →

Saturday’s state football capsules

Sam Houston State (3-3, 2-0 SLC) at Northwestern State (3-3, 1-1) WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Harry Turpin Stadium (15,971), Natchitoches TV: SLC Network (Baton Rouge: WBTR, New Orleans: WUPL, Lafayette: KLFY) SERIES: Northwestern State leads 19-17 STAT THAT MATTERS: The Demons gained 6.6 yards per rush and 7 yards per play against Incarnate Word last Saturday. NOTES: Being… Continue reading →

Safety Tyler Stoddard brings passion — and plenty of tackles — to the Southeastern secondary

Southeastern Louisiana safety Tyler Stoddard drops Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee in the first quarter Sept. 13, 2014, at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

HAMMOND — Four games into his college career, Southeastern Louisiana’s Tyler Stoddard became a starter at free safety. By year’s end, he was the team leader with 90 tackles, earning first-team all-freshman honors from College Sports Journal. A year later, Stoddard’s production tapered off to 63 tackles — third on the team — not because… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana rides strong run attack into Central Arkansas game

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern wide receiver Marquis Hayes runs past Lamar University defenders in the first quarter Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont, Texas.

HAMMOND — For all the prolific numbers Southeastern Louisiana’s fast-paced offense can accumulate, the Lions’ latest method of victory seemed to really appeal to their coach. Just when it appeared Lamar may catch Southeastern late in the third quarter of last week’s Southland Conference game, the Lions unleashed a torrid rushing attack to beat the Cardinals across the… Continue reading →

Special teams have been extra special for Southeastern

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Southeastern's Xavier Roberson runs 79 yards on a punt return before being pushed out of bounds by Tulane linebacker Brandon Schmidt in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.

HAMMOND — When Northwestern State coach Jay Thomas talked about the points of emphasis going into last weekend’s clash against Southeastern Louisiana, he talked about quarterback Bryan Bennett and the Lions aggressive defense. But he didn’t stop there. Thomas also lauded the Lions’ special teams play, declaring they were the best his team had faced,… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana kicker Ryan Adams happy to take long path to Hammond

HAMMOND — The journey involved in becoming the team’s starting place-kicker may have rivaled the one that brought Ryan Adams from Dayton, Ohio, to Southeastern Louisiana. Neither trip worked out quite as envisioned, but is in the midst of a happy ending. Adams, who was signed by former Southeastern coach Mike Lucas, found himself entrusted with… Continue reading →

Denzel Thompson, Southeastern Louisiana look ahead to Lamar

Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern defensive back Denzel Thompson runs back an interception against Northwestern State in the first half of Saturday's game at Strawberry Stadium.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts tries to motivate his players to seek a breakthrough moment — the time they rise above the rest. Senior defensive back Denzel Thompson heeded Roberts’ call with the game of a lifetime that not only resulted in personal gain, but in victory as well. Thompson — who stepped into a larger… Continue reading →

Mike Lucas returns to Southeastern, this time guiding Northwestern State’s defense

Former Southeastern Louisiana coach Mike Lucas

Later that evening, amid the euphoria of Southeastern Louisiana’s first Southland Conference championship, senior offensive linemen Gasten Gabriel, Marshall Paris and Geremy Wilson phoned an ally 700 miles away to share in the accomplishment. With SLU applying the finishing touches on a perfect 7-0 run through the league with a 52-27 home victory over Nicholls State on… Continue reading →

UNO coach has plan for young players

The University of New Orleans men’s basketball team will begin practice a little bit later in the year than they usually would, but coach Mark Slessinger plans on using all the time he can to prepare his young team for the upcoming season. With a roster comprised of nine players classified as either freshmen or sophomores, Slessinger… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana heads home, turns attention to Northwestern State

Photo by RANDY BERGERON/Southeastern Public Information -- Southeastern defenders Micah Eugene and Kaleb Muse tackle Incarnate Word running back Junior Sessions in the first quarter of last week's game at Benson Stadium in San Antonio.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana’s three-game road swing over. So is its two-game losing streak. Nothing like a 56-point league victory on the road to reinvigorate the No. 11 Lions (3-2, 1-0 Southland Conference) heading into their first conference home game at 3 p.m. Saturday at Strawberry Stadium against Northwestern State (2-2, 0-0). The game will be… Continue reading →

Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz says Auburn better than last year

Associated Press file photo by ORLIN WAGNER -- Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz adjusts his headset as the Bulldogs play at Kansas in September 2013.

AUBURN, Ala. — Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz has studied Auburn’s game film from both this season and last, and comes away far more impressed with the 2014 version of the Tigers. “We have watched a lot of film from 2013, and I do not think it is close how much better they are this year than what they… Continue reading →

Around the state: A look at Saturday’s football matchups

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- UL-Monroe coach Todd Berry talks to an official during the first quarter of a game at LSU on Sept. 13.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Estes Stadium (9,000), Conway, Ark. TV: Southland Conference Network SERIES: Central Arkansas leads 6-2. STAT THAT MATTERS: Nicholls State has been outscored 143-12 in the first two quarters this season. NOTES: Following a 77-3 loss to North Texas last weekend, Nicholls State has now been outscored… Continue reading →

Southeastern looks to regain swagger as Southland play begins

Southeastern Louisiana Public Information photo by Randy Bergeron -- Southeastern Louisiana running back Rasheed Harrell drives into the end zone past Stephen F. Austin defenders, from left, Lance Skyler, Trey Vallier and Collin Garrett last season.

HAMMOND — Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts tried to convey the message to his team before the season began about the potential pitfalls of their past success. With shiny new credentials that included the school’s first gleaming Southland Conference championship, first home FCS playoff victory and one-point quarterfinal loss, the Lions would no… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Jacob Newman stays humble, keeps expectations high

Photo by Randy Bergergon/SLU sports information -- Southeastern's Jacob Newman

HAMMOND — When Southeastern Louisiana senior defensive end Jacob Newman learned of his selection to the All-Southland Conference’s preseason first team, the distinction barely registered on his radar. “The preseason doesn’t mean a whole lot,” he said. “It’s kind of like coach (Ron Roberts) says: ‘If you have potential, that means you haven’t done anything with… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana shifts focus to Incarnate Word

Photo by RANDY BERGERON/SLU Public Information -- Southeast Missouri defenders Tim Hamm-Bey and Justin Elias chase down Southeastern wide receiver Devante Scott on a 62-yard gain in the first quarter Saturday at Houck Stadium in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

HAMMOND — When quarterback Bryan Bennett scored on a 22-yard run and Ryan Adams added the extra point for a 23-17 lead against Southeast Missouri last week, Southeastern Louisiana was just under three minutes away from a hard-fought road win. Then the Lions defense took the field and never returned to the sideline.… Continue reading →

Southeastern coach Ron Roberts wants to see how Lions respond to loss

Associated Press photo by BUTCH DILLSoutheastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts will lead the Lions into their second spring game under his watch on Saturday.

HAMMOND — This was the time last year when Southeastern Louisiana first displayed the type of resolve that would later define it as a champion. The Lions were coming off consecutive road losses to TCU and South Dakota State, a stretch that threatened to derail their season. Instead of imploding, Southeastern went back on… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Devante Scott back to form

HAMMOND — They’re still vivid reminders that hang in the locker of Southeastern Louisiana wide receiver Devante Scott that epitomize a dark time in his career. Whether it’s before each practice or home game, Scott opens his locker where the two knee braces he alternated wearing a year ago — one gold, one black —… Continue reading →

Lions have work to do to eliminate breakdowns

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Southeastern Louisiana coach Ron Roberts paces the sideline during the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal against New Hampshire on Dec. 14. New Hampshire won 20-17.

HAMMOND — Film review for Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts a day after his team’s 35-20 defeat at the hands of Tulane wasn’t any more palatable than Saturday’s original version. It only accentuated what Roberts saw firsthand in the Lions’ first loss of the season: a lack of execution offensively, coupled with three turnovers, the inability… Continue reading →

Charlie Stubbs resigns as Nicholls State football coach

Associated Press photo by DANNY JOHNSTON -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs walks along the sideline during the second half of a game at Arkansas on Sept. 6 in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas defeated Nicholls 73-7.

THIBODAUX — Charlie Stubbs resigned as football coach at Nicholls State University, citing “major health reasons” that a university spokesman didn’t elaborating on. A longtime assistant at a number of colleges, Nicholls State was the first collegiate head coaching job for the 59-year-old Stubbs. He took over in 2010, finishing with a 10-38 record in… Continue reading →

Around the state: Football preview capsules

Associated Press photo by DANNY JOHNSTON -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs walks along the sideline during the second half of a game at Arkansas on Sept. 6 in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas defeated Nicholls 73-7.

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Municipal Stadium (9,601), Daytona Beach, Fla. TV: None STAT THAT MATTERS: Stephen Johnson was the Tigers’ leading passer against Houston, going 11-of-18 attempts for 151 yards and two interceptions. NOTES: The tough road continues for Grambling heading into the third week of the season. After suffering a season-opening… Continue reading →

Cody Sokol throws 5 TDs in Louisiana Tech win

DENTON, Texas — Cody Sokol threw five touchdown passes as Louisiana Tech rolled over North Texas 42-21 at Apogee Stadium on Thursday night. Sokol connected with eight different receivers to claim Tech’s first Conference USA victory of the season. The senior was 20-for-31 for 243 yards, including two touchdown passes to Paul… Continue reading →

Ex-Tulane defensive back Jordan Batiste prepares to face former team as part of Southeastern Louisiana secondary

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Information -- Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Jordan Batiste returning an interception against Southern Utah.

HAMMOND — Three years ago, Jordan Batiste couldn’t wait to get to Tulane and embark on his college football career. Batiste, then 17 years old, graduated a semester early from Lutcher High, enrolled for the spring semester at Tulane and went through spring workouts with Green Wave. Batiste put the finishing touches on what… Continue reading →

Louisiana Tech faces North Texas to open Conference USA play

Associated Press file photo by TONY GUTIERREZ -- Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon

DENTON, Texas — There is no rest for the weary. Especially not Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs prepare to play their third road game in 13 days, opening Conference USA play at North Texas at 7 p.m. Thursday. Louisiana Tech is coming off a 48-20 blowout of UL-Lafayette, a game in which the Bulldogs… Continue reading →

Southeastern anticipates seizing opportunity at Tulane

HAMMOND — The opportunity for Southeastern Louisiana to travel to Tulane and play at 7 p.m. Saturday in Yulman Stadium means a lot of different things to different people. To senior defensive back Marice Sutton, it represents a homecoming. He grew up several blocks from Tulane’s campus and graduated from St. Augustine High School. Sutton nearly… Continue reading →

Arkansas rolls over Nicholls State

Nicholls State quarterback Kalen Henderson (15) looks for a receiver before being sacked by Arkansas defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson, right, in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Bret Bielema enjoyed the little things like singing the fight song with the Arkansas student section and addressing his team following a win. It had been far too long for the Razorbacks and their second-year coach. Led by four touchdown passes from Brandon Allen, Arkansas (1-1) overwhelmed Football Championship Subdivision opponent… Continue reading →

Russell, Baylor rout Northwestern State

Northwestern State linebacker Adam Jones (3) attempts to stop Baylor running back Johnny Jefferson (2) in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 70-6. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

WACO, TEXAS — Baylor backup quarterback Seth Russell threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns while playing only the first half, freshman KD Cannon caught three of those scores and No. 10 Baylor overwhelmed FCS team Northwestern State 70-6 on Saturday night. Cannon went streaking past the secondary for TD catches of 50, 81 and… Continue reading →

Southeastern pulls away from Southern Utah

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InfoormationSoutheastern's Marice Sutton tackles Southern Utah receiver Justin Brown in the second quarter Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — It took Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett and the Lions most of the game to find their rhythm, but once they did, Southern Utah had no answer for them. No. 3 Southeastern defeated the Thunderbirds 41-14 Saturday night after the Lions pounded Southern Utah for 21 points in the final 11 minutes of… Continue reading →

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska shake McNeese

Associated Press photo by Nati HarnikNebraska running back Ameer Abdullah scores the game-winning touchdown ahead of McNeese State defensive back Jermaine Antoine on Saturday.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Desperation brought out the best in Ameer Abdullah. With No. 19 Nebraska and McNeese State of the second-tier FCS tied Saturday, Abdullah turned a short pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. into a jaw-dropping 58-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left for a 31-24 victory. Abdullah broke five tackles on his way to… Continue reading →

Southeastern pulls away from Southern Utah

Photo provided by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public InfoormationSoutheastern's Marice Sutton tackles Southern Utah receiver Justin Brown in the second quarter Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

HAMMOND — It took Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett and the Lions most of the game to find their rhythm, but once they did, Southern Utah had no answer for them. No. 3 Southeastern defeated the Thunderbirds 41-14 Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium after the Lions pounded Southern Utah for 21 points in the final… Continue reading →

Around the state

Grambling (0-1) at Houston (0-1) WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: TDECU Stadium (40,000), Houston TV: ESPN3 SERIES: Houston leads 1-0. STAT THAT MATTERS: Grambling may have allowed 525 yards of total offense against Lamar, but Houston was only able to muster 208 yards of offense in its season opener in a 27-7… Continue reading →

Southeastern benefits from transfers in secondary

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- A Southeastern Louisiana helmet is seen on the sideline this season.

HAMMOND — For all of his past achievements, there was still one thing missing from the collegiate football résumé of Southeastern Louisiana junior safety Micah Eugene. While it was commonplace for the former Class 5A All-Stater at Acadiana High to score touchdowns as a running back, Eugene had never reached the end zone in his… Continue reading →

Southeastern’s Xavier Roberson returns kickoffs a long way — and has come a long way himself

SLU Public Information Photos by RANDY BERGERON -- Southeastern's Xavier Roberson scores against Northwestern State during the 2012 season.

HAMMOND — Three years ago, Southeastern Louisiana junior running back/kick returner Xavier Roberson resigned himself to the fact that his recruiting process was over — and quite possibly his playing career, too. Five months had passed since the start of the national signing period in February 2012, and Roberson, an all-conference defensive back at Tri-Cities… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Utah will test strengths of their leagues

Associated Press file photo by Jonathan Bachman -- Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett passed for 311 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 93 yards and one touchdown Saturday in a 44-3 win over Jacksonville.

HAMMOND — What may have seemed an obscure season-opening FCS game to some had plenty of relevance when Eastern Washington took a 56-35 victory over Sam Houston State. The deeper meaning is still to be determined when the NCAA hands out its postseason football bids in less than three months, but Eastern Washington’s win translated… Continue reading →

Transfers shine in Southeastern’s season opener

Southeastern quarterback Bryan Bennett outruns Jacksonville defenders  for an 83-yard touchdown Saturday in the first quarter at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond. (Photo by Randy Bergeron/SLU Public Info)

HAMMOND — They may not have started their careers in Southeastern Louisiana jersies, but several transfers found a home in Hammond during the Lions’ season opener against Jacksonville. The No. 3 Lions handedly defeated the Dolphins 44-3 at home Saturday night behind multiple big plays from players who didn’t start their careers at Southeastern, including… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana ready to roar again

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Third-year Southeastern Louisiana football coach Ron Roberts doesn’t belabor the point when it comes to this year’s defense. “I think this group has a special chance to be a special defense,” Roberts said. “They can be tops in the country. They’ve got to do the things that are going to separate them from the… Continue reading →

Southeastern Louisiana relies on versatile running backs

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Competition and camaraderie have been at the core of a budding relationship that’s galvanized a bond between Southeastern Louisiana’s junior running back trio of Rasheed Harrell, Kody Sutton and Darrius Guy. It’s become commonplace during their two years together at SLU to find any of the triumvirate enjoying a spirited evening of video… Continue reading →

Around the state: Week 1 capsules

Advocate file photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs, left, and Southeastern coach Ron Roberts shake hands at midfield during the game between Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana in November at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Strawberry Stadium TV: None SERIES: Southeastern leads 3-0. STAT THAT MATTERS: SLU senior quarterback Bryan Bennett has a season to remember in his premier campaign with the Lions, finishing with 4,211 total yards and 37 touchdowns. NOTES: For SLU coach Ron Roberts, 2014 is the year. With senior quarterback Bryan… Continue reading →

Around the state

Grambling at Lamar WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Provost Umphrey Stadium (16,000), Beaumont, Texas TV: None SERIES: Lamar leads 1-0 STAT THAT MATTERS: Lamar was impressive at home in 2013, posting a 4-2 record, with… Continue reading →

Lions on the run: Trio powers SLU

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern advanced to the FCS quarterfinals last season for the first time in school history.

HAMMOND — Competition and camaraderie have been at the core of a budding relationship that’s galvanized a bond between Southeastern Louisiana’s junior running back trio of Rasheed Harrell, Kody Sutton and Darrius Guy. It’s become commonplace during their two years together at SLU to find any of the triumvirate enjoying a spirited evening of video… Continue reading →

Pete Thomas, Warhawks edge Wake Forest

Louisiana-Monroe's Michael Johnson (34) and Cody Robinson, right, bring down Wake Forest's John Wolford (10) during an NCAA college football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/The News-Star, Dacia Idom) NO SALES

MONROE — Pete Thomas ran in a 9-yard go-ahead touchdown with 3:27 remaining to lift Louisiana-Monroe to a 17-10 victory over Wake Forest Thursday night at Malone Stadium. The Warhawks (1-0) trailed 10-0 at halftime before rallying for 17 unanswered points on Wake Forest (0-1). With the win, ULM swept the home-and-home series against… Continue reading →

ULM, Wake Forest to meet

Associated Press file photo by DAVE MARTIN --UL-Monroe coach Todd Berry

MONROE — The Louisiana-Monroe football team opens the season on Thursday hosting Wake Forest in a nationally televised game on ESPNU at 6:02 p.m. ULM grabbed a 21-19 win at Wake Forest last season. ULM begins the season with three of its first four games at home as the Warhawks host Wake Forest in… Continue reading →

Demons to host Missouri State

NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State and Missouri State will meet for the second straight year to open the season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches. The Demons, coached by Baker native Jay Thomas, won last Aug. 29 in a hard-fought 23-17 decision in Springfield in the first meeting in… Continue reading →