No. 15 SLU closes non-conference play at CCSU
Published 3:40 pm Friday, September 17, 2021
The No. 15 Southeastern Louisiana University football team will participate in its nonconference finale on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CDT), traveling to face Central Connecticut State at Arute Field.
The Lions have two former Washington Parish High School players on their team, including 2015 Pine High School graduate Brendon Kelley and 2016 Franklinton High School graduate Damien Dawson. Kelley is a defensive lineman, while Dawson is a fullback.
The game between the Lions (1-1) and the host Blue Devils (1-1) can be viewed via a free live video stream will be available via www.ccsubluedevils.com, while the game can also be heard in the Hammond area on Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM and The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM, as well as online at www.Kajun107.net.
Southeastern will be looking to close out nonconference play with a victory and head into its bye with momentum. The Lions dropped a 45-42 shootout at FBS foe Louisiana Tech last Saturday. SLU dropped two spots to 15th in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and 16th in AFCA FCS Coaches Top 25 after falling just short in its upset bid.
Southeastern finished with 598 yards of total offense versus the host Bulldogs, but could not overcome three turnovers and 10 penalties for 100 yards. Reigning Walter Payton Award winner and Lion senior quarterback Cole Kelley threw for a career-high 495 yards, as the trio of CJ Turner (eight catches, 131 yards, one touchdown), Austin Mitchell (9-89-1 TD) and Tim Wilson Jr. (7-72-1 TD) were all top targets for the SLU signal caller.
Alexis Ramos led SLU with 10 tackles, while Zy Alexander recorded his first collegiate interception. Punter Austin Dunlap was named the Southland Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after posting a 50.5 punting average and extending an eventual touchdown drive with a 15-yard run on a fake punt.
Through the first two games of the season, Southeastern ranks among the FCS national leaders in total offense (544.5 ypg, 6th), scoring offense (45.5 ppg, 9th), passing offense (379.0 ypg, 3rd), first downs (62, 2nd) and third down conversion percentage (56.7, 5th). Dating back to last season, the Lions have scored 40 points or more in six straight games – the longest such streak in school history.
Kelley is second nationally with 758 passing yards, completing 74-of-100 passes for the fourth-highest completion percentage in FCS. He is also sixth in the nation with six passing touchdowns, while also sitting at third nationally with three rushing touchdowns.
Mitchell (14 catches, 124 yards, two touchdowns), Turner (11-183-1 TD), Wilson Jr. (9-99-1 TD), Taron Jones (9-81) and Nolan Givan (9-57-1 TD) are the top pass catchers for the Lions. Jones also leads SLU with 108 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Opponents are averaging 36.5 points and 426.0 yards per game versus the Lion defense. Alphonso Taylor (15 tackles) and Alexis Ramos (14 tackles) are the top tacklers for SLU, while Ferlando Jordan and Alexander each have interceptions for SLU.
Dunlap leads the Southeastern special teams unit with a 41.4 punting average.
CCSU bounced back from a 28-21 loss in the season opener to Southern Connecticut by opening Northeast Conference play with a 21-19 victory at Wagner last Saturday.
The Blue Devils are averaging 324.0 yards and 21.0 points per game through two weeks. Romelo Williams has handled the majority of the work under center for CCSU, throwing for 433 yards, four touchdowns and an interception on 36-for-61 passing. Everett Wormley (10 catches, 168 yards, two touchdowns) has been Williams’ top target. Nasir Smith leads CCSU on the ground with 91 yards on 22 carries.
Opponents are averaging 316.5 yards and 23.5 points per contest versus Central Connecticut State. Kelvin Apari and Jahlil Brown lead the Blue Devils with 15 tackles apiece. Alpari paces the team with 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks, while Brown and Dexter Lawson each have an interception.
Saturday will be the first meeting between the two schools. CCSU will return the trip in 2022.
Following Saturday’s contest, SLU will have a week off before opening Southland Conference play on Oct. 2 at McNeese.
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