RUSSELLVILLE — Ketrich Harmon rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries, while Preston Conder passed for 326 yards on 26-of-41 passing, and Logan Genz turned in a 18-tackle effort, and Randy Velazquez booted three field goals, with no kick being bigger than the 38-yard field goal he kicked in overtime to lift the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (5-5, 5-4 Great American Conference) to a 37-34 win over the Southeastern Oklahoma Savage Storm (2-8, 2-7 GAC) on Saturday at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.
Southeastern Oklahoma got on the board first, forcing Tech into a three-and-out on the opening possession, and then going downfield 75 yards in 12 plays over 4:46, capping the scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown rush by Devlon Wortham.
Chris Peoples’ extra point attempt missed wide left, giving the Savage Storm a 6-0 lead. The miss would prove to be crucial.
Tech quickly responded, as Harmon took the first play from scrimmage on the next drive 57 yards to the Tech 18-yard line, and four plays later, Harmon’s four-yard touchdown run capped a five-play, 75-yard drive to give the Wonder Boys a 7-6 lead.
In what was a sign of things to come, Southeastern came right back to reclaim the lead, as quarterback Nick Sioson connected with Anthony Foster on a 21-yard touchdown strike to cap a seven-play, 71-yard drive, giving the Savage Storm a 13-7 lead. Tech was put behind the 8-ball on the next possession after a bad snap on first down set up second and 23, and the Wonder Boys were unable to convert the first down.
SOSU held the 13-7 lead going into the second quarter, but after punting the ball away, the Wonder Boys marched downfield 83 yards over nine plays, using an eight-yard pass from Conder to Roger Jackson to put the Wonder Boys ahead 14-13. However, the lead would not last for long.
On the ensuing possession, Southeastern used a seven-play, 84-yard drive to reclaim the lead, as Wortham’s second touchdown run of the contest (this one from 18 yards out) gave the Savage Storm a 20-14 lead.
On the Wonder Boys’ next possession, Velazquez attempted to cut into the Southeastern lead with a 42-yard field goal attempt, but the kick sailed wide right. However, Sioson’s first down pass was intercepted by Darion Shine and the Wonder Boys offense had another chance.
Tech set Velazquez up with a 31-yard field goal attempt, and this time the freshman connected to cut the Southeastern lead to 20-17.
After the Tech defense got a stop on the next possession, Tech marched downfield to the Southeastern seven-yard line, and Velazquez drilled a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 20-20 going into the half.
The Wonder Boys took the lead back in the third quarter, as Harmon’s second touchdown of the night, a 10-yard run, capped a seven-play, 62-yard drive, giving Tech a 27-20 lead. Those would be the only points of the third quarter.
Harmon extended the Wonder Boys’ lead in the fourth quarter, as Tech used a 13-play, 63-yard drive capped by a one-yard Harmon run to push the Wonder Boys ahead 34-20. However, the Savage Storm were not done.
A 13-play, 72-yard drive by Southeastern, capped by a 19-yard pass between Sioson and Tiquarrio Combs narrowed the Tech lead to 34-27, and after a lost fumble on first down, Southeastern used a three-play, 24-yard drive to even the score at 34.
The Wonder Boys had a prime opportunity to pull ahead on the next possession, using a 35-yard kickoff return by Cassius Washington and a 23-yard pass from Conder to Jonathan Keener to get into Southeastern territory. Conder connected with Keener once again to get the Wonder Boys inside the 20-yard line, and a few short runs by Harmon gave Tech a first-and-goal at the Southeastern five-yard line.
However, Tech fell victim to another errant snap and this time, the Savage Storm recovered the loose ball. Southeastern moved the ball into Tech territory but was unable to get any closer than the 40, turning the ball over on downs with 17 seconds to play.
Conder connected with Michael Fine on a nine-yard out route to give the Wonder Boys second-and-one at the Tech 49, and then took three deep attempts, the final one intercepted by Southeastern’s Raheem Wilson as time expired in regulation.
As the game went to overtime, Tech was able to slow the Southeastern offense, and Peoples missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide left, giving the ball back to the Wonder Boys.
On second down for Tech, the Wonder Boys had a momentary scare as the ball popped loose on a Ketrich Harmon rush and Southeastern Oklahoma appeared to make the recovery. However, Harmon was ruled down prior to the fumble and the Wonder Boys maintained possession.
Another run by Harmon gave Tech fourth-and-6, and set up a potential game-winning, 38-yard field goal by Velazquez.
Velazquez’s kick split the uprights, giving the Wonder Boys a dramatic win in their next-to-last home game.
Roger Jackson caught six passes for 76 yards and a score, while Keener caught five passes for 130 yards. Wesley McKinney turned in a 17-tackle effort (one solo, 16 assisted) trailing only Genz’ 18 tackles (four solo, 14 assisted) for the Wonder Boys. Demetris Ford turned in 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while Thomas Soehner added 11 tackles (four solo, seven assisted) and a fumble recovery, while Justin Martin turned in a ten-tackle effort (all assisted) with a half-sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
The Wonder Boys will return to action on Nov. 16, closing the season with a Senior Day match-up with Harding at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.