DURANT – Oklahoma Baptist was a 20-point underdog that almost pulled the upset Saturday in a 21-17 loss at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
That ‘almost’ isn’t satisfying for the team.
“Just playing well isn’t our goal,” said OBU Coach Chris Jensen. “Our goal is to win. We’re close, but we’re not satisfied with that.”
The game was managed by non-starters at quarterback on both sides with Southeastern’s CB Cantwell going down with injury and OBU’s Preston Haire called upon to jump start the sputtering offense.
Haire finished with 172 yards on 14 of 22 passing while Isaiah Mallory showed his 2016 form with 110 yards on the ground, including a 69-yard scoring run to go along with a 46-yard catch and run.
Stephan Turner and Cagney Roberson had four receptions apiece.
The offensive line was again superb with no sacks allowed for a second consecutive game while giving the running game six yards a carry.
Southeastern struck first with CB Cantwell passing to Drake White for a nine-yard TD.
Isaiah Mallory ran for 69 yards and a touchdown with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter and Luke Wendl added the PAT for a 7-7 tie.
Preston Haire gave OBU its first lead of the night on a 12-play, 89-yard drive. Haire completed passes of 21 yards to Stephan Turner, 16 yards to Emmanuel Adesokan and 18 yards to Josh Pettijohn before capping the drive on a seven-yard keeper.
The extra point put the Bison ahead 14-7 with 5:24 remaining in the first half.
Southeastern knotted the score at 14-14 in the third quarter on a Rollin Kinsaul nine-yard pass to Codey McElroy.
The Bison took a 17-14 lead on a 27-yard field goal by Wendl to cap an 88-yard drive with 9:12 left in the game.
SOSU returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards and the Savage Storm was in the end zone six plays later for a 21-17 lead with 6:09 left in the game,
“We covered the kicks pretty well for most of the game, but that one got away from us,” Jensen said.
Defensively for the Bison, Anthony Figueroa and Dante Foster had seven tackles each, with Myles Russell collecting a sack. Daniel Moniz recovered a fumble and Antonio Taylor broke up two passes.
The Bison head to Russellville, Arkansas, next week to contest Arkansas Tech at 6 p.m., Saturday.