Indians have been anything but boring in two OVC games

Sunday, October 3, 2004

CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Through two games of Southeast Missouri State University's Ohio Valley Conference football schedule, one thing is clear.

There are few dull moments where the Indians are concerned.

One week after a wild 51-48, four-overtime victory over Samford, the Indians were totally outplayed Saturday by Eastern Illinois in their first OVC road contest.

Yet somehow the Indians -- despite being outgained by the almost comical total yardage figure of 612 to 378 -- somewhat miraculously found themselves trailing by just a touchdown in the late going, and they had two chances to at least force overtime.

That a desperation pass into the end zone fell incomplete on the game's final play to secure EIU's 35-28 victory was probably poetic justice, because as Southeast coach Tim Billings was quick to point out, the Indians certainly did not deserve to win.

And it's obvious that, if Southeast is not able to shore up its woeful, injury-riddled defense, it could be a long rest of the season for the Indians.

But no matter what happens, it probably won't be a boring rest of the season.

Speaking of that unbelievable game against Samford last week in Southeast's OVC home opener, some people at the game seemed to be confused by what happened in the fourth overtime when Indians safety Reggie AuBuchon intercepted a pass in the end zone, began to run toward the other goal line -- and all of a sudden the play was stopped.

Well, what happened is one of the officials inadvertently blew his whistle right after the interception, which immediately halted play, although the interception stood.

Officials, like players, often mess up. And that's exactly what happened in this case.

We'll never know whether or not AuBuchon would have been able to go all the way for a touchdown -- he appeared to have a good chance, but after seeing a television replay, it looked like Samford quarterback Ray Nelson was about even with AuBuchon when whistles blew and would have had a decent chance to bring him down. It didn't matter because Southeast won.

However, if the Indians had wound up losing, you can bet there would have been quite a protest coming from Southeast's camp.

Former Southeast All-American wide receiver Willie Ponder has not yet caught a pass this season with the New York Giants.

But Ponder is more than making his presence felt during his second National Football League season after being selected in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft.

Ponder, primarily being used by the Giants as a kick returner, ranks sixth in the NFC and 11th in the entire NFL in kickoff returns with a 26-yard average. His long return has been 34 yards.

Another former Southeast All-American, center Eugene Amano, is also making an impact during his rookie NFL season. The seventh-round pick this year is seeing action in a reserve role for the Tennessee Titans.

Southeast's soccer team is off to a solid OVC start, as the Otahkians picked up a victory and a tie last weekend in their first two conference games.

The Otahkians play their first OVC home match 2 p.m. today when Morehead State visits Southeast at Houck Stadium.

The Otahkians have not played at home in two weeks and after today they won't have another home match for nearly two weeks, so this would be a good time for plenty of fans to come out and support their team.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: