By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor
Even with a valiant effort, the OBU football squad were still downed by Southern Arkansas.
There was plenty of action in this high scoring affair. Redshirt sophomore Preston Haire totaled for 530 yards and was responsible for six touchdowns. Haire threw for 39 for 60 completions and made the offense look bright. The Southern Arkansas Muleriders prevailed and went to 5-0 while the Bison were in a desperate need of a win.
In the first quarter to start the game, OBU started on offense. The Bison were in Mulerider territory when they missed on a field goal to capitalize first.
It seemed as if OBU started out slow on the defensive side as well as they were already down by a touchdown. The Muleriders drove down the field on a 12-play, 77-yard drive that took seven minutes.
In the second quarter of play, the Muleriders had the ball and scored again to take a two-touchdown lead. The next drive, Haire completed big passes down the field to redshirt senior Josh Pettijohn and senior Cagney Roberson.
The Muleriders completed another long drive as they were able to score again on a run from 10 yards out. On the next OBU drive, the offense relied on Haire to drive them down the field and he did just that. Haire threw a touchdown pass to junior Noah McGraw from 25 yards out.
In a last attempt to put points on the board at the end of the half, the Bison drove down the field with 50 seconds left in the half. Completions to Roberson and Pettijohn were able to bring the Bison closer in position to score.
The Bison got some help with offside and pass interference penalties to help the Bison go for a field goal at the end of the half. Redshirt sophomore Luke Wendl was able to put it through and the score was 21-17 at halftime in favor of the Muleriders.
In the third quarter, the Bison defense came out strong and forced a three and out. The Muleriders were forced to punt, and the Bison were able to strike early in the third with Haire throwing a touchdown pass to Pettijohn from 30 yards out.
The Bison took their first lead of the game with a threepoint lead. On the first play for Southern Arkansas on the next drive, the Muleriders quarterback Barrett Renner completed a 50-yard pass down the field to Karonce Higgins. He completed two passes to Jared Lancaster with one of them being for a touchdown.
On OBU’s next drive, the Bison drove down the fi eld and scored with an 11-yard rush from Haire. Haire was effective in the air and on the ground. On the Muleriders next possession, the rushing attack was clicking on all cylinders. There was a touchdown run from eight yards out and the Muleriders regained the lead.
On the next OBU possession, Haire had a big run for 36 yards. With the Bison just outside of the 20-yard line, Haire had a pass intercepted, taking away the Bison momentum.
In the fourth quarter, the Muleriders started to pull away. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Muleriders scored on a touchdown from 26 yards out.
The Bison were haunted by a holding penalty moving them back and eventually forcing a punt. The Muleriders were able to march down the field again with a touchdown pass to Lancaster. The score was 48-31 with the Muleriders pulling away.
With the Bison showing urgency, Haire had his chance to shine. Haire completed the drive with another touchdown pass to redshirt junior Jacques Henderson.
The Muleriders had the ball with a short field, and Lancaster scored on another touchdown. On the next OBU drive, Haire completed more passes resulting in another touchdown to Pettijohn. The Bison fell, 55-45.
Even with the loss, the Bison still have plenty of brightness to look at with a hard-fought game over an undefeated team. Pettijohn and Roberson both went over 100 yards receiving with Pettijohn scoring two touchdowns. Haire throwing for 476 yards and fi ve touchdowns were both school records.
Unfortunately, it was not the ending he wanted to a historic game. Redshirt sophomore Josh Arnold was responsible for 12 tackles. Redshirt freshman Felipe Alvear recorded 11 tackles and an interception. Junior Hayden Ashley had nine tackles.
With this loss the Bison have dropped three straight contests after starting out the season out at 2-0. In week three and four, the Bison were downed by Arkansas Tech and Harding for a miserable 87-14 combined score. The team looked more effi cient on offense but the defense also gave up 55 points.
The Bison will look to regroup and earn their third win of the year when they take on Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark. Saturday, Oct. 6.