Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack fans had to wait an extra 24 hours to start the 2012 season, but they received the outcome they were looking for defeating Southwestern Oklahoma, 49-14, Friday night in Homer Bryce Stadium. The game, which was originally scheduled for Thursday night, was moved to Friday evening due to Hurricane Isaac.
The Lumberjacks jumped out to a 28-0 first-half lead and never looked back scoring 49 unanswered points before Southwestern Oklahoma cracked the scoreboard with 7:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. It marked the first points surrendered by a Lumberjack defense since the fourth quarter of the game against Southeastern Louisiana last season (117 minutes, 16 seconds).
SFA held the Bulldogs to 206 yards of total offense, including just five on the ground. SFA also recorded six sacks and 12 tackles for losses in the game. Transfer Collin Garrett and senior Ryan Epperson led the defense with eight tackles each. Garrett was also credited with 1.5 TFLs. He was one of eight 'Jacks to record a sack, and one of 13 to post a tackle for a loss. Sophomore Darren Robinson had a successful return to the field after sitting out all of last season with an injury. He finished the night with six tackles, including two for losses and 1.5 sacks.
While the defense was busy shutting down the Bulldog offense, SFA was having no problems moving the football. Junior quarterback Brady Attaway finished the night completing 21-of-37 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns, while SFA racked up 517 yards of total offense.
Preseason All-American Cordell Roberson got out to a strong start hauling in eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. He was one of four receivers to catch a TD pass in the season opener. Freshman D.J. Ward caught four passes for 92 yards.
Sophomore Gus Johnson recorded a career-high with his 10 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lumberjacks return to action Saturday, Sept. 8, when they travel to Dallas, Texas to take on SMU. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. from Ford Stadium.