WAXAHACHIE — With a conference championship on the line, No. 8 Langston relied on its nationally-praised defense late in the fourth quarter Saturday against No. 16 Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
And the unit did not disappoint. Langston defeated SAGU 14-10 at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium to claim the Central States Football League title.
The Lions of SAGU had possession of the football down four points as the clock dipped under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback CJ Collins nearly pulled off the upset when his pass on third-and-10 sailed a bit and just missed the outstretched hand of receiver Justin Allen (4-29) across the middle of the field. Had the Maypearl graduate been able to pull in the football, he would have waltzed into the end zone with a little over 90 seconds to play.
Langston entered with the top defense in most statistical categories across all NAIA universities. That group held Collins, who entered as the 14th most prolific passer in the country, to 18-of-48 for 181 yards. The junior signal caller connected with Bryant Dotson (2-38) for a 31-yard touchdown with 11:51 to play in the third quarter to pull SAGU within four, 14-10.
Blayne Rowe led the Lions receiving core with two catches for 60 yards, while Roderick Brown added eight catches for 58 yards.
Senior running back JP Lowrey led the Lions on the ground but was limited to 20 yards on seven carries.
SAGU outgained Langston 253 yards to 229.
Langston improved to 9-0 on the season and 7-0 in the CSFL. SAGU dropped to 7-2 on the year and 6-1 in conference play. The Lions also dropped to 0-14 all-time against Langston and has still yet to win a conference title in the program's history.
SAGU closes out the regular season next Saturday, Nov. 11 at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.