SHU Football Wins Thrilling Opener in Double OT
ADRIAN, Mich. -- Running back Travis Damron (Warren, Ohio/Champion) rushed for three touchdowns, including the game-winner, as the Siena Heights football team opened its season -- and NAIA membership -- with a 26-19 double-overtime victory over Robert Morris (Ill.) at O'Laughlin Stadium on Saturday night.
Damron finished with 15 carries for 68 yards -- the last yard being the decisive one as his one-yard dive in the second OT put SHU (1-0) ahead for good.
The Eagles had one chance to answer, but five incomplete passes and a sack by defensive lineman Joseph Mravec (Temperance, Mich./Roy C. Start, Ohio) helped Siena Heights hold on for the win.
SHU quarterback Matt King (Rockville, Ind./Rockville) completed 17 of 24 passes for 167 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Donovan Campbell (South Bend, Ind./Clay) in the first overtime. King also scrambled 10 times for 49 yards while Campbell made eight catches for 83 yards.
Running back Julius Taylor Jr. (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) added 18 carries for 75 yards and tight end Lyle VanFleteren (Armada, Mich./De La Salle) had three catches for 61 yards.
The contest, which included four missed extra-point kicks, went into overtime tied at 13-all. Regulation ended when a 50-yard field goal attempt by SHU kicker Jonah Harter (Grand Rapids, Ohio/Otsego) sailed wide left.
RMU had the first possession in extra time and finished it out with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Matt Westerkamp to TaDarrius Douglas. The ensuing PAT was missed, freezing the Eagle lead at 19-13.
The Saints faced fourth-and-4 on their possession before tying the game on a 9-yard pass from King to Campbell, but like RMU, Siena Heights did not convert its extra point, sending the game into a second extra period. On SHU's following march, Damron's go-ahead score came on a fourth-and-goal play from the Robert Morris 1.
Robert Morris running back Dontrel Chance opened the game's scoring in the first quarter when he broke away for a 27-yard score.
The Saints responded with a pair of 5-yard scampers from Damron -- the first on an eight-play, 66-yard drive in the first quarter and the second on an 11-play, 70-yard trip during the second period as SHU carried a 13-7 lead into halftime.
Douglas scored a game-tying touchdown with 6:34 remaining in regulation when Westerkamp found him for a 19-yard reception. The six-pointer set up a go-ahead PAT, but Saint defensive lineman Kyle Connors (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) came through with a blocked kick to keep the game knotted at 13.
Connors also had a sack for the Saints while linebacker Tyler Karcher (Middleville, Mich./Thornapple-Kellogg) was the leading tackler with nine stops.
Also on defense, Mravec finished with two sacks, defensive lineman Jordan Martin (Hartland, Mich./Hartland) added one sack and defensive back Michael Butler (Romulus, Mich./Romulus) made a key interception in SHU's own end zone.
For Robert Morris, Lamont Wims finished with 27 carries for 131 yards. Westerkamp was 16 of 34 for 189 yards with his main target coming in the form of Douglas, who had seven catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Angelo Parker led the Eagle defense with 12 1/2 tackles and Tom Hughes forced a fumble, which was recovered by Jason Olson.
The Saints will return to action next Saturday when they visit Iowa Wesleyan for a 2 p.m. EST kickoff (1 p.m. local/CST time).