Lumberjacks Fall to Bears 24-21

CONWAY, Ark.- The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (3-4, 0-2) hit the road to face off against #20 Central Arkansas (5-2, 2-0).  SFA lost the contest 24-21.

The Lumberjacks got the opportunity to score first as they received the opening kickoff. SFA drove the ball down the field and set up for a Chris Campos 36-yard field goal with 10:09 left in the first quarter.  However, the attempt was wide, and the score remained tied 0-0.

SFA’s second possession was very similar as Brian Maurer drove the offense down the field into field goal range.  Campos set up for his second attempt on the day but also failed to convert on the 33-yard field goal.  With 2:15 in the first the score sat 0-0.

Through the first quarter Brian Maurer led the game with 114 passing yards while the Lumberjack defense held the Bears to 14 total passing yards.

The first points of the game came following Jak Gaster’s 28-yard field goal with 6:26 left in the second quarter and gave the Bears a 3-0 lead.  

With 5:41 in the second quarter, Brian Maurer fumbled, and it was recovered by Jake Golday.  Maurer exited the game with an injury following his touchdown saving tackle and Preston Weeks checked in at quarterback.SFA’s defense continued to hold strong with a relatively clean first half.  Until a roughing the kicker call gave the Bears a fresh set of downs.  Central Arkansas capitalized on the penalty as ShunDerrick Powell rushed for a 6-yard touchdown.  With 1:01 remaining in the half, the Bears led SFA 10-0.

The Bears began a strong drive following the Lumberjack’s punt.  However, Elijah Fields forced Powell to fumble, and it was recovered by Tkai Lloyd.  

Preston Weeks began the drive at Central Arkansas’ 35-yard line.  Jerrell Wimbley cashed in the Lumberjacks first touchdown and points of the game following his 2-yard rushing touchdown.  With :15 seconds in the half, the Bears led 10-7.  The score remained the same at the end of the half.

SFA opened the second half with an onside kick that was recovered by the Bears in excellent field position. The ‘Jacks defense set the tone for the second half following an opening three and out by Central Arkansas.

The game’s next points came after Central Arkansas scored on a 3-yard pass from Will McElvain to Christian Richmond.  With 2:59 in the third quarter Central Arkansas took a 17-7 lead over SFA.

The Bears held the Lumberjacks to a punt deep in their own redzone.  However, they converted on a fake punt that was a 14-yard reception between Max Quick and Lawton Rikel. Quick’s 14-yard conversion was the longest pass of his career. SFA continued their drive into the fourth quarter and Weeks began with three consecutive passes of over 10-yards.  The ‘Jacks capped it off with Lawton Rikel’s first touchdown of the season as he caught Preston Week’s 11-yard reception that made the game 17-14 with 13:43 remaining in the final quarter.

The fourth quarter’s next action came following Darius Hale’s 2-yard rushing touchdown. However, a personal foul after the play wiped the touchdown and moved the Bears back 15-yards. Jake Gaster lined up for another Bear’s field goal, but it was blocked by Bruce Harmon.
SFA didn’t waste any time getting into the endzone as Preston Weeks found Kylon Harris for a 64-yard touchdown and his seventh receiving touchdown of the year.  Harris now has a UAC leading seven touchdowns and finished the game with 120 receiving yards.  With 6:19 remaining the Lumberjacks led 21-17.

Central Arkansas began their final fourth quarter drive with 6:13 remaining in the game.  Will McElvain drove the Bears all the way down to SFA’s own 3-yard line before finding Myles Butler for the 3-yard touchdown.  With 2:12 left in the quarter Central Arkansas led 24-21.

The ‘Jacks failed to get anything going on their final drive of the game and Central Arkansas kneeled the rest of the clock out.  SFA loses to Central Arkansas 24-21.  

Stephen F. Austin will be in action next week at Homer Bryce Stadium to take on Abilene Christian.  The contest will take place October 21st at 4:00 p.m. and will be the Lumberjack’s homecoming.

Statistical Leaders:

Passing: Preston Weeks11/21 52.4% for 171 yards, 2 touchdowns
Receiving: Kylon Harris5-120 yards (24.0) 1 touchdown 
Rushing: Jerrell Wimbley18-69 (3.5), 1 touchdown, 15 receiving yards
Aaron Sears15 TKLs (9 solo), 1 TFL
Jeremiah Walker9 TKLs (3 solo)
Tkai Lloyd3 TKLs (1 solo), 1 PBU

By: Jace Green, Assistant for Strategic Communications