Redhawks' rally falls short at UT-Martin

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Southeast quarterback Matt Scheible gets off a pass while scrambling during Saturday's game at UT-Martin. (Submitted by Jeff Honza)

MARTIN, Tenn. -- Take away the second quarter Saturday night and Southeast Missouri State would have been in good shape.

Unfortunately for the Redhawks, that can't be done.

Tennessee-Martin scored touchdowns on all three of its second-period possessions.

The Skyhawks' offense wasn't overwhelming the rest of the game, but that outburst was enough to pave the way for a 29-22 victory.

UTM, playing its Ohio Valley Conference opener, improved to 2-2.

Southeast fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the OVC with its third straight loss and fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of UTM.

"I wish we could have had that third quarter back," Southeast senior cornerback Eddie Calvin said. "We had a couple of breaks in coverage, some mental errors."

The Redhawks scored on the game's opening drive as sophomore quarterback Matt Scheible hit junior wide receiver Miles Edwards with a 15-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive that featured a 34-yard option run by Scheible.

Senior Doug Spada was wide on the PAT, then misfired on a 47-yard field-goal attempt on Southeast's third possession as the Redhawks threatened to expand their lead.

"We got off to a good start," Scheible said.

Then came UTM's second-quarter flurry that featured a 203-38 edge in total yardage and 11 minutes, 15 seconds possession time compared to 3:45 for Southeast.

"Those three drives were just about all they had. A few mistakes we made cost us," Southeast junior linebacker Justin Woodlief said. "I thought we did well stopping them the rest of the game."

Trailing 21-6 at the break, Southeast came out strong for the second half and made things interesting.

Spada's career-long 53-yard field goal early in the third quarter pulled Southeast within 21-9.

"That was a great momentum kick," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said.

Junior tailback Mike Jones' 13-yard run early in the final period capped a 59-yard drive and made it 21-15, but the PAT was blocked.

Southeast's defense continued to hold strong, forcing one punt and then getting a Calvin interception in the end zone to halt a drive.

"Our defense gave us plenty of opportunities," Scheible said.

The Redhawks failed to take advantage and UTM finally put together a second-half scoring drive, taking more than five minutes off the clock before finding the end zone with 4:18 remaining.

A 2-point conversion put the Skyhawks on top 29-15.

Southeast staged one more rally, moving 81 yards and scoring on Scheible's 1-yard sneak with 1:58 left to make it 29-22.

UTM recovered an onside kick, but Southeast got the ball back one more time. However, it came at the 2-yard line with just 38 seconds left and no timeouts remaining.

"That's a tough situation," Scheible said.

Southeast got as far as its own 31-yard line, but Scheible had a pass intercepted with 9 seconds left to seal the Skyhawks' victory.

"I feel like if we want to be a winning football team we have to take advantage of our opportunities," Scheible said. "We're close. ... We're still going to stay positive."

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