FOOTBALL TEAM WINS HOME OPENER AGAINST SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
September 13, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Skyhawk football team only scored seven points in the second quarter but exploded for 16 points in the fourth quarter to claim a 23-6 victory over former UT Martin standout Ron Roberts and Southeastern Louisiana Thursday night.
The Skyhawks improved to 2-1 on the season with the victory and are now 5-2 in home openers at Hardy M. Graham Stadium under the direction of seventh-year head coach Jason Simpson.
Southeastern Louisiana scored with 37 seconds remaining in the game to spoil what would have been the Skyhawks fourth shutout in a home opener in the past five years.
“You win two-out-of three games and now you have some momentum going into the conference,” Simpson said. “This is a good win for us. We have not been able to beat an FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) school other than Gardner-Webb since I have been here.”
The Skyhawks claimed a 35-9 victory over Gardner-Webb in 2006, the same year they won their first Ohio Valley Conference title.
Junior running back DJ McNeil scored the Skyhawks first touchdown of the game when he found paydirt from three yards out. The scoring drive covered 73 yards in nine plays and used 3:35 of the clock.
McNeil’s touchdown was the only score of the game until the fourth quarter. Senior place kicker Cody Sandlin made a 33-yard field goal with 14:05 to play in the game and the Skyhawks led 10-0. It was the first field goal Sandlin has made since the game-winner at Memphis in the first week of the season.
McNeil added his second score of the game with 9:47 to play, but the two-point conversion fail. Senior wide receiver Quentin Sims closed out the Skyhawks scoring when he hauled in a 5-yard pass from senior quarterback Derek Carr with 2:29 to play in the game.
Sims had four catches for 72 yards and the TD in the game. The Cincinnati native has 12 career TD passes and needs six more to set a new school record.
Carr completed 11 of 23 attempts for 184 yards and one touchdown. He now has 5,547 career passing yards and 41 career touchdown passes. He needs just eight touchdown passes to set a new school record.
“I have been here for seven years and this is the most disarray I have seen this offense,” Simpson said.
The Skyhawks had 352 yards of offense against the Lions.
“We have high expectations,” Simpson said. “We will take a couple of days off and come back and go to work for Austin Peay.
The Skyhawks will return to action Saturday, Sept. 22, when they travel to Clarksville to open the Ohio Valley Conference slate against host Austin Peay.