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Southeastern Football Surges Past Bethel in Home Opener

by | Sep 3, 2017 | Football Blogs, Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

LAKELAND, Fla. — Despite four turnovers, the Fire offense rolled up over 600 yards and 62 points Saturday for the second straight week in a victory.
Southeastern improved to 2-0 on the year with a 62-13 win over Bethel (Tenn.) in front of 2,424 fans at Victory Field.
The ground game was the main catalyst once again, responsible for 363 of SEU’s 617 total yards.
“Our offense played a great game, both quarterbacks played well, but we had a few too many turnovers in the first half,” said coach Keith Barefield.
Three first quarter turnovers kept Bethel (1-1) within reach after 15 minutes of play, with the Fire holding a 14-7 lead on touchdown runs by Jarrell Reynolds and Tyrell Williams.
The score by Reynolds was the 50th rushing touchdown of his career. The fifth-year senior finished with 136 yards on 17 attempts.
“When Jarrell is in there, we’re a much better offense,” said Barefield. “It opens up a lot of things for us when teams have to key on him.”
Williams capped off the first drive of the game with a one-yard run to complete an eight-play, 64-yard march. Reynolds score came at the 10:14 mark from three yards out.
Bethel was able to answer with 4:23 left in the first quarter on a 14-yard pass from Sam Castronova to Jocquise Upton.
Southeastern went on to rattle off seven straight touchdowns to pull away. Three were scored by Williams, who finished with 86 yards on 14 carries with four touchdowns.
The Fire held a 28-7 lead at halftime, stalling a Wildcat drive at the SEU 28 yard line as time expired.
That’s when the defense found another gear, limiting Bethel to 159 yards and six points in the second half.
“Our defense shut them down in the second half, and we’re extremely proud of them,” said Barefield.
Seniors Josh Schulte and Will Tillo tied at the top of the tackle chart with nine each. Schulte recorded a sack, and Tillo had one for loss and recovered a fumble.
It started the third quarter by forcing a three-and-out, giving way for the offense to go 81 yards on four plays with Railond Garrett finding LaQuivionte Gonzalez for a 39-yard strike to make it 35-7 with 12:38 left in the quarter.
In his SEU debut, Gonzalez caught eight balls for 133 yards.
Garrett added a rushing touchdown with 19 seconds left in the quarter, giving the Fire a 49-7 advantage.
The Lake Wales native finished with 57 yards on four carries, and was 5-of-9 passing for 111 yards.
Jonathan Pearce also added a rushing touchdown, and completed 10-of-20 passes for 143 yards.
Southeastern returns to action next Saturday in Kentucky, visiting No. 21 Georgetown, which defeated Faulkner in overtime.