The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team built a 10-point lead in the first half and the running game started strong.
But it wasnít enough as the Lions fell at home to Howard Payne University 41-27.
The visiting Yellow Jackets came to life in the second half as they outscored the Lions 34-10 in the final two quarters.†
SAGUís offense got its running game going as it picked up 333 yards as three ball-carriers gained 90 yards or more in the process.
Momentum changed hands dramatically in the third quarter when the offense sputtered out of the blocks. On four straight possessions, the offense produced zero first downs.
Two drives ended with punts and the other two when the team coughed up the ball on fumbles. One of them saw the Lions (0-2) lose the ball on a run, then recover the ball, only to have the second player fumble it back to the Jackets.
The offense ran just nine plays in the four possessions, gaining 35 yards.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets (1-1), held to seven points and 148 yards in the first half, mounted their comeback. They capitalized on their good fortune. The visitors responded with three touchdown drives in the third period for a 28-17 lead. Their four drives in the quarter totaled nine first downs, 27 plays and 197 yards.†
The SAGU defense wore down against the Jacketsí no-huddle scheme and three penalties on the Lions kept drives alive. On two of the scoring drives, SAGU stopped fourth down gambles only to be cited for a penalty to negate incomplete passes.
Freshman quarterback Richard Young picked apart a patchwork secondary that has lost three starters in two weeks. He finished with 18 completions in 30 attempts for 267 yards and five touchdowns.
SAGU senior quarterback Reid Golson led the charge with 107 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. He connected on 12 of 22 throws for 124 yards.
Sophomores Troy Griffin and James Hopkins, of Ferris, churned for 99 and 90 yards on 10 and 17 attempts, respectively.
Carvon Culton had five carries for another 25.
The passing game has yet to get in sync. Trevor McKinley led with four catches for 19 yards. Dylan Moore latched onto a 47-yard bomb, the only pass to gain 20 yards or more in two games.
His reception set up a seven-yard scoring run by Hopkins to give the Lions a 17-7 lead late in the second quarter.
James Gish, of Waxahachie, got the Lions on the board with a 33-yard field goal.†
The defense followed with a goal line stand from the SAGU one-yard line. Griffin bolted up the middle for 57 yards on the next play to spark a nine-play, 99-yard march. Hopkins capped the drive with a 16-yard dash for a 10-7 lead.
SAGU drew to within 28-20 early in the fourth on a 25-yard boot by Gish. After reaching the Jackets eight-yard line, the drive stalled on two incomplete passes. The teams traded scores the rest of the way. Golson led the Lions on a 75-yard drive, topping it off with a scamper from the two with 8:22 to go. The Lions trailed 35-27.
Needing a stop for a chance to tie the game, SAGU allowed a 10-play, 75-yard, time consuming trip that produced six first downs. Freshman Zarron Dove, who rushed for 150 yards, collected the last two to ice the game with 3:40 remaining.
Linebackers Dalton Snyder, of Ennis, and Kendal Evers collected 13 and 10 tackles for the SAGU defense. Senior lineman Ike Caston added nine stops.
Offensively, the Lions had 457 yards (201 in the second half), their most since 581 against Haskell in 2011.†
Howard Payne registered 510 yards, 358 after intermission.
The Lions will take to the road for the next three weeks, starting with a Sept. 21 trip to Lawrence, Kans., to take on Haskell University (0-3) at 1 p.m.