To put an end to a historical year, Southern Nazarene and Oklahoma Baptist went head-to-head in a battle to end the football regular season. In a rivalry that has posed lots of bad blood in the past, the matchup was the perfect way to close the year out. With this, the game was also set on SNU’s homecoming weekend and senior night, making it that much more special.
Although the game was looking like a defensive battle, as each team’s first possession ended in a punt, SNU began rolling with a 5-yard touchdown run by star quarterback, Gage Porter. This was the only score of the first quarter, giving SNU a 7-0 lead in the early portion of the game.
Momentum carried its way into SNU’s very next offensive drive, which ended in a 15-yard touchdown run by Donald May. Just as things were starting to slip away from OBU, the team was able to score on a 26-yard touchdown throw with 8:55 left in the second quarter, keeping the score at a reasonable 14-7. However, this spark of light was quickly put out as SNU was able to score on their next two drives, with the help of another pair of Porter and May touchdown runs. This gave SNU a very commanding 28-7 lead going into half-time 4.
SNU came out of the half with every ounce of momentum, and this carried into the very first play of the third quarter, which ended in a 26-yard interception touchdown return by safety Tavian Haughton. SNU’s next defensive drive, again, ended in another interception, this time by former OBU player, Kenyatta Richardson. This interception led to a successful offensive drive for SNU, which was capped off by a third Gage Porter touchdown run. Although OBU was able to score a touchdown of their own to end the third quarter, SNU held a very comfortable 42-14 lead heading to the final quarter of the game.
The fourth quarter of the game went fast as both teams went on a couple of long drives to close out the match. With the help of a fourth touchdown run by Gage Porter, SNU was able to score a season-high of 49, ending the regular season and beating OBU by 28 points.
Asa Robertson, a star wide receiver for the team, said, “I think this was the perfect way to end our regular season and send our seniors out on a high note.” When asked about his thoughts on the team’s performance, he said, “I think this was probably our most complete game as an entire team, and it really couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Angel Ramirez, a senior running back, said a very similar message about the performance. “To be able to end my football career with a game like this one is something I definitely won’t take for granted.” He added, “I don’t know if it was from the rivalry, or the game being dedicated to the Seniors, but the entire team felt much more dominant. Everything was really clicking for us from the beginning to the end.”
In a historic game that gave SNU its first winning season since transitioning to DII, the team truly proved its presence in the conference. With this, the team also has a chance to play in its first bowl game as a DII program, which will be officially announced by Tuesday, November 14th. Not only did this game prove the type of dominance that SNU is capable of, but it also helped the team to reach historical feats that have not been done at the school before.
Photo by Katy Bradley