Redhawks Comeback Falls Short in 38-30 Loss to UT Martin - Southeast Missouri State University Athletics
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Redhawks Comeback Falls Short in 38-30 Loss to UT Martin
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Redhawks Comeback Falls Short in 38-30 Loss to UT Martin

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MARTIN, Tenn. – Southeast Missouri (2-6, 2-4) nearly overcame a 25-point deficit in a 38-30 loss to UT Martin (5-3, 4-2) Saturday afternoon in Ohio Valley Conference action at Graham Stadium.
 
Southeast trailed, 28-3, before outscoring UTM, 27-10, in the final two quarters and five seconds of the game.

Redshirt-freshman Spencer Davis caught a pair of touchdown passes to move the Redhawks within striking distance in the fourth quarter.

Matt Scheible tossed a 33-yard pass to Davis to cap a 5-play, 66-yard drive and narrow UTM's lead to 35-23 with 11:41 remaining.

After Cody Sandlin's 29-yard field goal gave the Skyhawks a 38-23 advantage with 5:31 left, Scheible and Davis hooked up again, this time on an 11-yard pass to cut the lead to 38-30 at the 3:57 mark.

Southeast needed a stop and would get it when it forced UTM to punt on the ensuing possession.

The Redhawks then took over on downs at their own 38-yardline with 54 seconds left to play.

Southeast managed to get to the UTM 45-yardline with the help of a 17-yard completion from Scheible to D.J. Foster on a 3rd-and-10 and a 2-yard pass play from Scheible to Davis.

However, three-straight incompletions came after that with Julius McNair batting away Scheible's final pass attempt on a 4th-and-8.

It was a tale of two halves and Southeast would like to have the game's first 30 minutes back.

"It was a rather unique game," said Southeast head coach Tony Samuel. "We just didn't have the proper energy in the first half. Then, we woke up."

UTM scored the first 21 points of the game to grab an early comfortable lead.

Tevin Barksdale ran for 82 of his game-high 135 yards and scored on a 64-yard run in the first quarter alone. DJ McNeil also scored on a 1-yard run and Derek Carr connected with Quentin Sims on an 8-yard touchdown pass to propel the Skyhawks to a 21-0 lead.

Drew Geldbach, after missing a 50-yard field goal, got Southeast on the board when he split the uprights from the same distance at the 8:08 mark of the second quarter.

After Carr hit Kenny Jones in stride down the near sideline for a 16-yard scoring strike, Southeast picked up some momentum just before the half.

The Redhawks answered with a 13-play, 75-yard drive which culminated in a 2-yard pass from Scheible to tight end Art Mueller. Mueller's first career touchdown reception narrowed the gap to 28-9 with five seconds on the clock and was followed by a missed PAT by Geldbach.

Bryan Blanfort made a big play when he intercepted Carr at the Redhawks 29-yardline early in the second half. Southeast capitalized on the turnover by marching 71 yards in 14 plays to slice UTM's lead to 28-16 with 5:21 left in the third quarter.
 
Ron Coleman's 5-yard run capped the drive five plays after a pass interference penalty gave Southeast an automatic first down on a 4th-and-3.
 
UTM's only touchdown of the second half came via a 2-yard run by McNeil with 14:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.
 
Barksdale averaged 8.4 yards per carry on 16 rushing attempts.

Meanwhile, Carr completed 16-of-24 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Scheible ran for 85 yards on 20 carries. He also completed 15-of-32 passes for 200 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. It marked Scheible's first 200-yard passing game since he threw for 222 yards in Southeast's season-opener vs. Quincy during the 2009 campaign. In addition, Scheible (31) moved to third all-time in career touchdown passes at Southeast.

Davis added 114 all-purpose yards. He caught four passes for a game-high 53 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow freshman AJ Cobb chipped in 46 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Defensively, Blake Peiffer and Tylor Brock led the way.

Peiffer had 15 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. He registered double-digit tackles for the sixth-straight game and seventh time in eight starts this season.

Brock followed with a career-high 10 tackles.

Southeast outgained UTM, 392-366, in total offense and possessed the ball nearly five minutes (4:50) more than the Skyhawks. The Redhawks held a 32:25 to 27:35 advantage in time of possession.

The Redhawks step out of conference play to host NAIA member Central Methodist on Nov. 5. That game, which marks the start of a three-game homestand, is slated for 1 p.m., CT, at Houck Stadium.
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