Houston – Keshawn Hill rushed for 160 yards including four touchdowns to lead Sam Houston to a 42-28 victory over No. 23 ranked Stephen F. Austin in the 89th “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry game at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Hill scored on runs fo 59, 31, 3 and 32 to become only the fourth Bearkat running back to score four rushing touchdowns in one contest.
SFA’s Gus Johnson carried 24 times for 148 yards including a 3-yard second quarter score.
The game was played before a record crowd of 26,788.
Hill’s first three touchdowns came in the first half as the Bearkats took a 21-14 lead into the locker room. Hill’s fourth and a two-yard scoring run by quarterback Jared Johnson put SHSU up 35-14 with 10:39 to play in the third quarter.
“Everything I heard about this rivalry beforehand was great, but this went well beyond what I thought it was going to be,” SHSU head coach K. C. Keeler said. “Talk about emotion. We played a good football game. We were scattered at times, but we settled down a bit in the second half.”
SFA quarterback Zach Conque who completed 34 of 51 passes for 266 yards, on an 86-yard scoring drive that ended with a one-yard Conque TD run to cut the margin to 35-21.
A 52-yard scoring run by Jalen Overstreet extended Sam Houston’s lead to 42-21 with 4:31 to play. A late 5-yard Conque score with 1:35 remaining ended the scoring.
Sam Houston (5-4, Southland 4-1) totaled 345 yards rushing and 127 passing for 472 total yards. SFA (6-3, Southland 3-2) totaled 250 on the ground and 266 in the air for 516 yards.
“We played a very good opponent,” Keeler said. “For a great game, a lot of class shown on both sides. Their tailback is really talented and he is just a sophomore. And, for Coach Conque, it’s pretty neat to coach your son like that. It was heck of a football game, and I am proud of being a part of this whole thing and we are proud of the kids.”