Bison play at Southeastern at 6 p.m., Sept. 9, in Durant.
SHAWNEE – Oklahoma Baptist football posted 597 yards of offense in a 55-34 loss to East Central to kick off the 2017 season Saturday before a crowd of 4,093.
OBU passed for 440 yards with starter Dezmond Stegall throwing for 210 and back-up Preston Haire rolling off 230. Stegall threw for one touchdown and Haire two.
Alex Lewis caught six passes for 160 yards, Nick Hinkley had five receptions for 91 yards, Josh Pettijohn reeled in five catches for 61 yards and Stephan Turner added 51 yards on four receptions.
Isaiah Mallory led the ground assault with 72 yards on 20 carries.
East Central struck first, with Devyn Williams returning the opening kickoff 91 yards.
OBU closed to within 7-6 at the 8:52 mark on a three-play, 35-yard drive, set up by an Anthony Figueroa interception. After two rushes by Mallory for 15 yards, Stegall found Turner for a 31-yard scoring strike at the 8:52 mark. OBU missed the PAT and trailed 7-6.
After the defense forced a punt, the Bison march 94 yards in 10 plays. Stegall had passes of 33 yards to Lewis and a 10-yard pass to Hinkley on a third and seven to keep the drive alive.
Mallory put together runs of 13 and 15 yards and Darrian Moss capped the drive from four yards out after a 14-yard run to set up that scoring play.
Luke Wendl added the first of four PAT kicks in his OBU debut.
East Central tied the game at 13-13 on a 66yard scoring pass with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigers took the lead for good in the second quarter with a one-yard scoring run, 20-17, with 9:53 left. ECU went up 2713 on an 18-yard scoring pass.
Haire made his debut with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that included a 45yard pass to Mallory that eventually led to Haire scoring on a keeper from six-yards out on fourth down.
The Tigers got on the board again just before the half ended for a 34-20 lead, getting a 36-yard scoring pass.
After a scoreless third quarter, East Central went ahead 41-20 with a nineyard scoring pass from Noah Holle, who threw for five in the game.
OBU answered quickly with Haire hooking up with Alex Lewis for an 8-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 41-27.
Holle passed to Dilland Gardner, who broke free from two would-be Bison tacklers intent on stripping the ball in need of a defensive stop and rumbled into the end zone on a 63-yard play.
OBU scored on ensuing possession with Mallory posting an 18-yard run sandwiched between Haire passes of 17 yards to Lewis and 26 yards to Hinkley to get the ball to the ECU 7. Haire then roamed left and found Hinkley alone in the end zone for a touchdown to make it 48-34 with 5:49 to play.
ECU tacked on one more score with 1:10 to go.
The Bison were led defensively by Joshua Redmond with 10 tackles, including a sack while Figueroa had a pass break up and eight tackles to go with his interception. Dennis Nguyen and Houston Tyler collaborated on one other Bison sack. Daniel Moniz had 1.5 tackles for loss with Ashton Vickers getting one tackle for loss and Demarco Shoat getting .5 tackles for loss.
Now 0-1, the Bison play at Southeastern at 6 p.m., Sept. 9, in Durant.