GOODWILL, Oklahoma — The Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team remains one of two teams still undefeated in the Central States Football League after Saturday's 29-21 defeat of Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
SAGU is now 6-1 for the season and 5-0 in CSFL action.
“A conference road game is always difficult, especially at Oklahoma Panhandle. It was a great win for our team and our program. They were really physical and I was proud of the way our guys competed the whole game,” said SAGU head football coach Frank Tristan.
SAGU, OPSU and Langston were all undefeated and locked in a three-way tie going into Saturday. Langston beat Arizona Christian University, 21-20, which keeps Langston and SAGU tied for first place in the CSFL standings.
The Lions struck first with a 33-yard field goal by Tluang Hmung with 8:28 left to play in the first to give the Lions a 3-0 lead. OPSU countered with a touchdown on a 24-yard pass but missed the extra point, giving them the lead 6-3 with just over five minutes left to play in the first quarter.
SAGU made an impressive drive down the field to end the first quarter and tied the game, 6-6, with a 38-yard field goal from Hmung.
In the second quarter, OPSU took the lead with a 48-yard touchdown pass, but SAGU took very little time to respond with two touchdowns of their own.
Justin Allen ran for a five-yard touchdown to tie the game, and junior quarterback CJ Collins connected with Jeremy Carr for a 25-yard touchdown pass to give SAGU its first lead, 20-13 going into the half.
SAGU opened up the scoring in the second half when Collins connected with Roderick Brown Jr. for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The score was the lone touchdown in the second half for the Lions.
Senior defensive back Matt Williams recorded a safety on the Aggies' second-half opening drive to give SAGU the lead, 29-13.
OPSU later found the end zone one more time with two seconds left in the 3rd quarter (29-21). That score would be the last for either team as the defense on both sides battled in the fourth quarter.
The Lions defense came up big in the final quarter when sophomore Jordaan Coleman recorded an interception in the red zone on what could have been a game-tying drive for OPSU.
SAGU was forced to punt, and punter Maverick Montiel pinned the Aggies deep into their own territory. Sophomore Landon Jones then intercepted an Aggie pass on the final OPSU drive of the game.
“OPSU exposed some things with us in our fourth quarter. We were able to make adjustments, and in the end, we had guys make huge plays that ended up winning the game for us,” Tristan added. “In OPSU’s last two drives Landon Jones, Jordaan Coleman, and Darnell Martin stepped up in a big way, and all three are sophomores.”
Offensively, SAGU was led by Collins who would complete 29-of-his-52 passes for 295 yards with one interception. Jeremy Carr had 10 receptions for 134 yards to lead the Lions' receiving core.
Defensively, SAGU had several players with good numbers. Coby Roach had eight tackles, Matt Williams recorded seven tackles with one going for a safety, Landon Jones had eight tackles and one interception, and Aiden Estrada also recorded seven tackles.
Jordann Coleman had three tackles to go along with his game-saving interception in the fourth quarter.
SAGU returns home on Saturday, Oct. 28 to take on CSFL opponent Lyon College. That game will be played at Lumpkins Stadium at 2:00 p.m.