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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Fumbles, interceptions costly for Bison in opener

  • On their very first touch of the ball in more than seven decades, Oklahoma Baptist’s Bison sliced off a 69-yard touchdown, but a long list of turnovers eventually hindered the effort and OBU lost its 2013 season opener 26-22 Saturday to visiting Southwestern College of Kansas.
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  • On their very first touch of the ball in more than seven decades, Oklahoma Baptist’s Bison sliced off a 69-yard touchdown, but a long list of turnovers eventually hindered the effort and OBU lost its 2013 season opener 26-22 Saturday to visiting Southwestern College of Kansas.
     
    The Moundbuilders — looking for a little payback after a 53-0 loss to the Bison during the 1939 campaign — took the game’s opening possession well into Bison territory before turning the ball over on downs. OBU made the most of the opportunity as quarterback Cale Grauer laced a 69-yard scoring toss to Derek Serowski on the initial snap, and the home team eventually led 15-0 after the first quarter on another Grauer-to-Serowski connection worth 19 yards.
     
    The second scoring drive spanned only two plays and was set up by D’Ante Meeking’s interception and 40-plus-yard return with 8:06 to go in the first. Grauer hooked up with Cy Stallard for the two-point conversion.
     
    Southwestern cut it to 15-7 early in the second quarter on a 5-yard run by Tyler Crandall, and the OBU fell behind 16-15 on back-to-back-to-back field goals of 26 yards, 20 yards and 19 yards. Crandall’s TD came on Southwestern’s fifth possession of the half, which was set up by the first of five picks by the Moundbuilders.
     
    The Bison ultimately suffered from seven turnovers — five interceptions and two fumbles — and the first four of those allowed Southwestern to take the 16-15 halftime lead.
     
    Oklahoma Baptist regained the advantage (22-16) on its second snap of the second half as Grauer found Dale product Turner Coon for a 63-yard TD pass.
     
    That lead stood until the 11:42 mark of the fourth quarter, when the Moundbuilders’ got a 9-yard hook-up from Brady May to Joe Vargas. The successful point-after kick put Southwestern up 23-22, and a final 26-year field goal with 8:28 to play brought up the final margin.
     
    Oklahoma Baptist finished with 291 total yards of offense on 57 plays, and Southwestern notched 483 yards on 87 plays. The Bison got 203 passing yards from Grauer on an 11-of-25 outing, and Serowski was the receptions leader with 98 yards and two scores on three catches.
     
    Jordan Barnes led the Bison in rushing with 79 yards on 14 totes. OBU had 88 rushing yards on 29 attempts.
     
    Southwestern got 15-of-31 passing and 235 yards from May, and Tanner Strohl was the Moundbuilders’ leading rusher with 86 yards on 13 carries. Anthony Sims added 80 yards on a dozen rushes.
     
    OBU head coach Chris Jensen said Saturday’s game “obviously didn’t turn out” as was hoped for.
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    “I’m very proud of the defensive effort, but offensively we need to take care of the ball better,” Jensen said. “We have to get a feel for the speed of the game. A key part of the game is time of possession, especially on hot days like today.”
     
    The temperature at the time of the 1:30 p.m. kickoff was well over 100 degrees.
     
    Jensen said he would not make specific comments about the game without first evaluating film, “but I’m still pleased with the effort.”
     
    “The main thing is we’ve got to focus on the things we did poorly,” he said.
     
    OBU, now 0-1, will host the University of St. Mary at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.
     
    Note: The crowd for OBU’s season opener was 5,609.

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