MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.—The Southeastern University football team came up with the big plays when it needed them in a 49-7 victory at St. Thomas.
The 12th-ranked Fire improve to 5-0 for the first time in program history, and are 2-0 in Mid-South Sun Division play.
It started on the first possession of the game when St. Thomas drove down to the SEU getting a sack from Stetson Smith and a forced fumble to set up Southeastern’s first score of the game. On fourth and goal, Cooper Jones hit Evan Beal in the near left corner of the end zone to put the Fire up seven.
Jones finished with 257 yards, completing 15-of-24 passes with two scores. His top target was Jacob McCrary with four grabs for 91 yards.
On St. Thomas’s third possession, the Bobcats (1-4) drove to the Southeastern 15-yard line, but a sack by Isaac Brown forced another fumble, which was scooped up by Nico Moreno and returned 85 yards for a score.
“Coming into the game, I thought we were a little flat, but when the kickoff occurs and a little bit of adversity happens, our guys respond,” said coach Keith Barefield. “One good thing about playing this week was we saw some things that opponents may be taking advantage of or were taken away from us and how teams may play us on special teams, and had to overcome some things.”
With 1:05 left in the first quarter, Lorine Parker scored the first of his three touchdowns on the day, racing in from 10 yards out to put the Fire up 21-0 after 15 minutes of play.
Parker also scored SEU’s lone touchdown of the second quarter on a 26-yard run, which immediately followed a Nnamdi Umeakuana interception.
The Fire went to the locker room up 28-7 after allowing a 15-yard touchdown pass right before halftime.
Parker added a seven-yard touchdown run with 8:40 remaining in the third, finishing his day with 58 yards on eight carries. He also caught two passes for 12 yards.
“Lorine is one of the key ingredients we missed a year ago,” said Barefield. “He worked hard and came back and has a great attitude and mental approach and adds a fresh approach to our backfield.”
Antwain Adams added another big play with a 56-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 5:40 left in the third.
Tony Belle added a one-yard TD run to cap off the scoring with 11:32 left in the fourth.
The Fire defense finished with six takeaways, and five sacks. Daryn Jones was the top tackler for SEU with eight stops, a sack, and a tackle for loss.
Southeastern will head to No. 19 Keiser next week for a 5 p.m. start.