SAGU falls short in high-scoring shootout
Woodley betters own field goal record with 52-yarder in road setback
GLENDALE, Arizona — The SAGU football team took its second loss of the season Saturday afternoon as it fell 52-45 to Arizona Christian University.
The Phoenix scored 31 points in the first half to take control of what was a high-powered offensive shootout from start to finish as both teams scored at least one touchdown in every quarter.
After the Lions' opening drive, Arizona Christian and SAGU exchanged back-to-back-to-back touchdown drives in the first quarter as the Lions proved they could run with the Phoenix offense. SAGU would go on to tie the game 14-14 in the second quarter on a Jordan Barlow rushing touchdown, but Arizona Christian began to pull away scoring 17 unanswered points. Kieran Woodley, who hit a career long 51-yard field goal last Saturday against Millsaps College, ended the first half with a new career long 52-yard field goal.
The Lions outscored Arizona Christian 28-21 in the second half but just fell short in the fourth quarter. Barlow proved once again that he could get the job done with his feet as he rushed for back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter including a 49-yard rushing touchdown that cut the Arizona Christian lead to 38-31.
The Phoenix started the fourth quarter with back-to-back touchdowns, but that didn't stop the Lions momentum as they grinded their way down the field, controlled the clock, and returned fire with two fourth quarter touchdowns of their own cutting the Arizona Christian lead to 52-45.
With less than 30 seconds left on the clock, the Lions recovered an electric onside kick from Woodley on the SAGU 48-yard line. Barlow found Keaton Dudik for 29 yards as the clock wound down to 15 seconds.
After an Arizona Christian pass interference, the Lions found themselves with first and goal at the Arizona Christian 11-yard line, but Deonsaye Dean and Maurice Powell of Arizona Christian scrapped for the game ending sack giving the Phoenix a 52-45 victory over the Lions.
Barlow proved once again why he is one of the NAIA's most talented offensive weapons as he threw for 301 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 55 yards and 4 touchdowns. He connected with seven different receivers on the day, but his favorite target was Zackariah Johnson who led the Lions with 7 catches for 112 yards. Dudik proved to be a threat once again as he led SAGU with 98 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Isaac Gowdy led the way with 10 total tackles while Drake Rodriguez had six total tackles and the only SAGU sack on the day. The Lions now sit at 2-2 on the year.
The Lions will be back at home in Lumpkins Stadium on Saturday, facing Arkansas Baptist College in a non-conference matchup. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.