Rolling up 685 offensive yards on 105 plays Saturday in Sam Houston’s 51-20 victory over Alabama State, the Bearkats set school records for most yards total offense and most plays.
The Kats rushed 57 times for 289 and completed 33 of 48 passes for 396 yards against the Hornets. The 685 yards eclipsed the old mark of 655 yards set against McNeese State in a Sam Houston victory in Huntsville during the 2004 Southland championship season.
SHSU’s 105 plays Saturday broke the record of 102 set versus Southeastern Louisiana in a home game in 2008.
The Bearkats tied the SHSU record for most first downs with 34 against Alabama State. The mark was first set against Texas State in a 2008 game at Bowers Stadium.
With Saturday’s record-breaking performance plus the yardage compiled in team’s opener at Eastern Washington a week ago, the Bearkats rank No. 3 in FCS total offense with 613.5 yards per game.
Sam Houston also stands No. 2 nationally in first downs (57), No. 7 in passing offense (356.5), No. 16 in rushing offense (257.0) and No. 17 in scoring offense (43.0).
The victory over the Hornets marked the home debut at Bowers for Bearkat head coach K. C. Keeler. The win was his 175th victory as a head coach.
The victory extended the Kats’ winning streak at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium to 23, the longest current home streak in FCS.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Johnson passed for 386 yards and three TDs in the record-setting home opener. The Bearkats went a perfect 6-for-6 in the red zone, ending those drives with four touchdowns and two field goals.
The Bearkats dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for 40 minutes and eight seconds.
Texas transfer running back Jalen Overstreet and true freshman Donavan Williams led the rushing attack, each with 83 yards. Overstreet joined the team late in camp and saw limited action in the EWU game (catching one pass) but has quickly become part of the offense.
TCU transfer LaDarius Brown caught six passes for 65 yards and returning letterman Rickey Smith had six catches for 53 yards including a touchdown.
Running back Keshawn Hill rushed for a four-yard touchdown and caught a 68-yard scoring pass from Johnson. Hill totaled 57 yards on the ground and caught three passes for 168 yards.
Linebacker Myke Chatman led the defense with six tackles including one for loss.