Rookie starter Lathrop finishes impressive season

Sunday, November 18, 2012

MURRAY, Ky. -- Southeast Missouri State redshirt freshman quarterback Scott Lathrop was not expected to receive much playing time this year.

That all changed when starter Kyle Snyder, a transfer from Football Bowl Subdivision program Ohio University, suffered a season-ending knee injury barely one week into fall practice.

Lathrop, all of a sudden, was tabbed to lead Southeast's offense. He didn't blink.

Lathrop had his down moments, as would be expected from somebody who had never previously taken a collegiate snap.

But Lathrop was arguably Southeast's most pleasant surprise this year. He ended his impressive rookie season Saturday with another strong outing as the Redhawks lost at Murray State 42-35.

"I'm really proud of him," senior tailback Levi Terrell said. "He balled out this year. He's got a great future ahead of him."

Lathrop, a leading candidate to be named Ohio Valley Conference freshman of the year, rushed for 119 yards on 27 carries while completing 5 of 8 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.

Lathrop finished the year with 824 yards rushing and a team-high seven touchdowns. He completed 91 of 158 passes (57.6 percent) for 1,025 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

"He had a great year. I feel like he exceeded expectations," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said. "I'm very happy with the way he handled himself."

Lathrop is the only OVC player on the national freshman of the year award watch list.

"I feel like I did decent enough but there are a lot of improvements I have to do," Lathrop said. "I'm happy I got the chance to play."

Super seniors

Southeast had 23 seniors this year. Several ended especially impressive careers and seasons Saturday.

Terrell finished the year with 1,349 yards rushing after gaining a career-high 215 yards on 25 carries against MSU. The 215 yards rank sixth on Southeast's all-time single-game list. The 1,349 yards are third-most for a season in program history.

Terrell, who entered play ranked third in the OVC and 15th nationally, rushed for at least 100 yards in seven games.

All-American linebacker Blake Peiffer, among the top candidates to be named OVC defensive player of the year, recorded seven tackles to finish with 117. He entered Saturday second in the OVC and 13th nationally.

Peiffer, a Jackson High School graduate, set a school record last year with 151 tackles. He ended his career with 359 tackles, third-most in program history.

Safety Tyler Brock, like Peiffer a key four-year contributor, finished as Southeast's No. 2 tackler with 81 after tying Peiffer for team-high honors Saturday with seven.

Brock led the Redhawks with four interceptions and had 10 career interceptions, tied for fifth-most in school history. He is third in career interception return yards with 282.

Kicker Drew Geldbach, who booted two field goals and three extra points Saturday, finished fourth in career field goals with 34 and second in PATs with 88. He also wound up tied for fourth on the school's single-season field-goal list with 15.

Linebacker Darrick Borum ended his career with six fumble recoveries, second in program history.

Offensive tackle Evan Conrad, a four-year regular, finished his career making 43 consecutive starts.

"A great group of seniors," Samuel said.

Noteworthy

* Southeast came up with Saturday's only two turnovers, an interception by sophomore linebacker George Neuhaus and a fumble recovery by sophomore linebacker Daniel Siehndel.

* The Redhawks, who had six quarterback sacks in their first 10 games, recorded two Saturday, by senior linebacker Darrick Borum in the end zone for a safety and by senior defensive end Alonzo Nevarez.

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