Redhawks assure themselves losing season

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Tennessee-Martin's Trace McDermott ran away from Southeast's Bryan Blanfort (19) during Saturday's game. (MIKE WILLIAMSON ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)

Southeast's record dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the OVC.

MARTIN, Tenn. -- It would have taken a minor miracle to avoid it, but Saturday's 55-20 loss at Tennessee-Martin officially assured Southeast Missouri State of another losing season.

In its 17th season since moving up to Division I-AA in 1991, Southeast has posted just two winning campaigns, an 8-4 record in 2002 and a 7-5 mark in 1994.

Only two other times has Southeast won at least five games on the I-AA level.

Now the challenge for the 2-6 Redhawks, who have three games remaining, is to remain positive as they try to salvage something from coach Tony Samuel's second season.

Southeast receiver Miles Edwards caught a pass while getting tackled during Saturday's game in Martin, Tenn. (MIKE WILLIAMSON ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)

"I'm a positive person to begin with," Southeast junior quarterback Houston Lillard said. "We'll try to stay positive, but it's hard with a big group of people.

"It's not like basketball where you only need a few people."

Said Southeast senior defensive tackle Patrick Christian: "We're still working hard every week. We're going to stay after it."

Southeast, 0-5 in Ohio Valley Conference play, has just two conference games left as the Redhawks try to avoid the program's first-ever winless OVC record.

Gist breaks through

Even though Southeast got beat handily, junior wide receiver Daryl Gist probably found it hard to be too down in the dumps.

Gist is from San Diego, an area that has been ravaged by fires. He said his family had to be evacuated from its home, but was recently able to return to a house that suffered no damage.

"It was good news," he said.

More good news for Gist came during Saturday's game as the junior college transfer caught four passes for 72 yards, including his first Southeast touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Lillard.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Gist entered the contest having caught one pass for three yards in limited action.

"It felt real good," Gist said. "I've got to take the opportunity when I get it."

Andersons in secondary

After Southeast junior Vincent Anderson moved from wide receiver to safety three games ago, his twin brother joined him in making the switch from offense to defense.

Victor Anderson, who had been Southeast's starting quarterback in six of its first seven games, saw his first action at safety.

The brothers were on the field together quite a bit. Vincent Anderson was credited with 11 tackles -- second on the team -- while Victor Anderson made six tackles.

Noteworthy

* Tight end Joseph Tuineau, a 6-8, 280-pounder, has become more and more involved in Southeast's passing attack over the last several weeks.

He caught a season-high five passes for 78 yards as he led the Redhawks in receptions Saturday.

* In addition to Gist, true freshman wide receiver Miles Edwards caught a touchdown pass, his second of the season. It was a 5-yarder from Lillard. Edwards had four receptions for 38 yards.

* True freshman tailback Alfred Reese scored Southeast's other TD, on a 1-yard run. It was Reese's second touchdown this year.

* Sophomore Walter Peoples was moved from defense (rover) to offense (wide receiver) during the week. He caught two passes for 17 yards Saturday.

* Junior linebacker Nick Stauffer, filling in for senior Adam Casper, led the Redhawks with 15 tackles. Casper, the OVC's top tackler, missed the game with a knee injury.

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