ARKADELPHIA – After opening the 2013 season with two road games, the Ouachita Baptist Tigers won their home opener 45 -7 over the Southeastern Oklahoma State Savage Storm.
The Tigers capitalized on seven turnovers, including a 99 yard interception return for a touchdown by Devon Cousins, and improved their record to 3-0 in the Great American Conference.
Senior Chris Rycraw led the Tiger ground attack with 136 rushing yards on 14 carries. He scored once on a spectacular 72 yard run towards the end of the third quarter. Steven Kehner rushed for 73 yards averaging 10.4 yards per carry. Kehner scored twice, once on the ground and once through the air on a pass he completed to Drew White. Quarterback Benson Jordan led a Tiger offense that gained 462 yards. He was 14-19-1 for 166 yards with a touchdown pass to freshman wideout Ke’Vontae Pope.
The Tiger defense held a Savage Storm offense that had averaged 41.7 points per game to a lone fourth quarter touchdown. Defensive lineman Antwion Patterson and Dave Fair pressured Southeastern quarterback Nick Sioson all night, combining for four sacks for a loss of 33 yards. He was sacked a total of five times in the game. He was also picked off four times. Sioson ended up 27-54 for 298 yards on the evening. Senior Augustne Ume-Ezeoke led the Tigers with 11 tackles. Junior defensive back Zack Mitchell had nine tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Ouachita scored on the opening drive of the game when kicker Matthew Ehasz connected on a 31 yard field goal. The Savage Storm responded with a drive down to the OBU 17 yard line, but were picked off by corner Etauj Allen in the endzone. The Tigers would have to punt on their next possession, pinning the Savage Storm deep in their own territory. Southeastern responded with a 19 play drive that resulted in 85 yards.
A red zone interception by Devon Cousins proved to be costly as he ran it back 99 yards for a score and the Tigers never looked back. The next two drives for Southeastern Oklahoma would end in turnovers and the Tigers answered with two more touchdowns.
OBU led 24-0 at half. The only score in the third came on Rycraw’s 72 yard scamper. The Tigers scored twice in the fourth quarter. One came on a two yard run by freshman Brandon Marks who rushed for 72 yards all coming in the final quarter of play. The other score came with Kehner taking a direct snap and finding former Van Buren standout Drew White in the end zone for a 29 yard pass play.
Southeastern running back Devlon Wortham scored with 14:23 left to play in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers travel to Weatherford, Oklahoma next week to face the Bulldogs of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 pm.