Editorial

A milestone football season for Southeast

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks just completed one of the most memorable seasons in school history.

The Redhawks lost 48-23 to powerhouse Weber State, the second seed, which essentially means Southeast's opponent was the second-ranked team in the country at this level. Southeast, which had dominated the turnover battle throughout the season, lost the turnover margin to Weber State, and couldn't overcome it. Still, the Redhawks fought to the end and completed a memorable season.

Will coach Tom Matukewicz and the Redhawks be able to sustain this success? That's the question being tossed about in fan circles. The program was not able to sustain success after a 2010 playoff appearance. Something about this team feels different. The Redhawks were able to score, and showed plenty of talent on offense, with impressive offensive scheming under a new coordinator.

Southeast went 9-4, and if not for a fluke loss to Murray State, could have easily attained 10 wins this season.

Several individuals broke team and OVC records. Marquis Terry, the OVC Player of the Year, finished the year with 1,229 yards, and before suffering an injury, had dominated opponents. Terry rushed for 311 yards in a 48-44 win against Southern Illinois University earlier this year, and is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the national offensive player of the year in the FCS. And decorated linebacker Zach Hall is a top-three finalist for the national defensive player of the year award. Hall set a new Southeast single-season tackles record with 168 this year. He was named the OVC Player of the Year on defense.

And Matukewicz earned the OVC Coach of the Year honor, making the first time in school history where Southeast garnered the top awards for coach, offensive and defensive players of the year.

Southeast suffered back-to-back 3-8 seasons before this year's outburst. Matukewicz has coined the mantra "brick by brick", building the program piece by piece, one accomplishment after another. Many bricks were added to the program this year. We hope the momentum continues and the Redhawks football team can enjoy a sustained period of success going forward.

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