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Courtesy: Brian Blalock/SHSU
This Week In the Southland Conference
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 10/02/2012
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Week Six Southland Conference Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 6
Southeastern La. at UAB, 2 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin vs. Sam Houston St.* at Reliant Stadium, 3 p.m. (SLCTV)
Lamar at Northwestern St.*, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
Nicholls St. at Central Arkansas*, 6 p.m.

Week Six News & Notes

Southeastern Louisiana is Southland's Best at 2-0: Southeastern Louisiana is the only Southland Conference team off to a 2-0 start in conference play after following its stunning 25-24 win over McNeese State with a 31-21 win at Lamar last week. The 2-3 Lions step out of conference play Saturday to take on a winless UAB team at Legion Field in Birmingham.

Week Five Matchups: Southeastern Louisiana and UAB are meeting for the first time in their history ... Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State are meeting for the 87th time and for the third consecutive year at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans ... the Bearkats lead the series 49-35-7 after winning 45-10 last year to snap a two-game losing streak in the series ... Sam Houston State has six of the last eight meetings with the only losses coming when the Lumberjacks won Southland titles.

Lamar faces Northwestern State for the 15th time, leading that series by a slight 7-6-1 margin after dropping a 37-17 decision last year in Beaumont ... that was the first Southland Conference game between the schools and the first since a 1979 Lamar win/

Nicholls State and Central Arkansas will meet for the seventh time Saturday in a series that the Bears lead 4-2 ... the Colonels, who lost 37-31 last year in Thibodaux, will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak in the series.

Battle of the Piney Woods Returns to Southland TV: The Battle of the Piney Woods between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State will be broadcast on the Southland Conference Television Network for the fourth time in the last four years and for the third year in a row. The network is celebrating its fifth season in 2012.

Coverage of the Toyota Game of the Week from Reliant Stadium in Houston will begin at 3 p.m., Central, with kickoff slated for 3:05 p.m. Randy McIlvoy and Shea Walker return to the broadcast booth to call the action and will be joined by Brooke Bentley on the sideline. Fans can watch the game on the new Southland Conference Digital Network's free mobile and tablet apps for iPhone and Android. Visit Southland.org/television each week for a list of affiliates.

Battle of Piney Woods Returns to Reliant for Third Time: The Battle of the Piney Woods between Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin returns to Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, in 2012. It will be the 87th football duel between the two rivals. The series is the second oldest FCS rivalry in Texas. The Battle of the Piney Woods dates back to 1923, with Sam Houston State holding a 49-35-2 edge in the series. The Bearkats won last year, 45-10, in the second of what was originally scheduled to be a four-game series to be played at Reliant. After averaging 24,884 in the first two games, Reliant extended the contract another three years, keeping the Battle of the Piney Woods at Reliant Stadium through the 2017 season.

Week Five Rewind: Southeastern Louisiana picked up a 31-21 road win at Lamar to spoil the Cardinals' Southland Conference opener and take control of the early league race with a 2-0 record. Stephen F. Austin upset No. 16/14 Central Arkansas to open league play, while McNeese State earned its first conference win of the season in downing Northwestern State 30-22. On Thursday, Sam Houston State had little trouble at Texas Southern, winning 50-6 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Three Southland Teams Ranked in FCS Top 25 Polls: Sam Houston State is ranked ninth this week in both FCS polls after beating Texas Southern in a non-conference game Sept. 27. The Bearkats climbed one spot in the Sports Network poll and remained steady in the coaches' poll. McNeese State and Central Arkansas are also ranked in the two polls. The Cowboys jumped three spots in both polls after their 30-22 win over Northwestern State, climbing to No. 21 in the Sports Network poll and No. 18 in the coaches' rankings. Central Arkansas slipped from No. 16 to No. 24 in the Sports Network poll and from No. 14 to No. 20 in the coaches' poll. Stephen F. Austin, which beat the Bears 42-37 last Saturday, are receiving votes in the two polls, while Southeastern Louisiana, the league's only 2-0 team in conference play after its 31-21 win at Lamar, is receiving votes in the Sports Network poll.

Southland Lands Three Semifinalists for NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards: The Southland Conference has three candidates - Nicholls State linebacker Kerry Guidry, Northwestern State kicker John Shaughnessy and Sam Houston State linebacker Nick Fieilo - for the 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards, the organization announced Sept. 27.  The Southland trio is among the 35 student-athletes from the Football Championship Subdivision and 147 from all divisions of college football. The complete list also are also considered semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognized an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation Guidry, a graduate of H.L. Bourgeois, Guidry posts a cumulative 3.39 grade point average in sports medicine. Last year, he was one of two Colonels to be named Southland Conference All-Academic. Since making the switch from defensive back to linebacker late last season, Guirdy has started each game for the Colonels. After three contests in 2012, the senior ranks third on the team with 17 tackles, including eight solo stops. Shaughnessy, a Shreveport-Byrd product who has a 3.69 grade point average in biology, spent the summer doing cancer research during an internship with the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. A first-team all-conference selection last season, Shaughnessy set a school record with 12 consecutive field goals in 2011 and has made 20 of his last 24. He ranks 11th nationally, averaging 1.5 field goals per game and is tied for 43rd in scoring with an eight points per game. Fieilo, a Euless, Texas, product, was a starting linebacker for the Bearkats at the beginning of 2012, before having season-ending surgery. Fieilo ranked second in tackles for loss on the 2011 team that played for an FCS national championship. He had racked up 105 career tackles and six sacks in his 34 games coming into the year. He will redshirt in 2012. A criminal justice major, Fieilo has a 3.21 overall GPA and was named Academic All-Conference in 2011. He participates in several community service projects including local trash pickup with the football team, visiting elementary schools to speak with students, and helping with a free football clinic for kids.

 Sam Houston State Notes: The Bearkats returned to the win column Sept. 27 with a 50-6 victory against Texas Southern at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston ... CB Dax Swanson picked off his second interception of the season against Texas Southern to move into the school's No. 2 spot in career interceptions with 12 ... Ronnie Choate (1956-59) holds the career record of 13 ... when Kenneth Jenkins returned a blocked PAT for a defensive PAT at Texas Southern, he became only the second Bearkat to achieve that feat joining Courtney Boston, who returned a fumbled PAT for two points in 2001 against Mississippi Valley State ... Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders is seeking to become only the 11th player to gain 3,000 yards rushing in Southland history ... Flanders has rushed for 2,967 yards during the past three years, including 17 games with 100 or more yards rushing ... former Texas State standout Claude Mathis holds the Southland career rushing mark with 4,694 yards ... with 39 career rushing touchdowns, Flanders is seven scores away from breaking Mathis' league mark of 45 ... the Bearkats now turn their attention to the Battle of the Piney Woods, which returns to Reliant Stadium in Houston for the third consecutive year ... with Texas A&M's move to the SEC and the end of the Aggies' football series with Texas and Baylor, the series between Sam Houston and SFA becomes the fourth oldest continuous college football rivalry in Texas ... the teams meet Saturday at 3 p.m. for the 87th renewal of the game with Sam Houston holding a 49-35-2 edge in the all-time series ... the Bearkats are 7-22 in games played in Houston after its 50-6 victory over Texas Southern Sept. 27 ... during its 97 seasons of football, the Bearkats have played at Rice Stadium, Robertson Stadium, the Astrodome, Reliant Stadium and BBVA Stadium.

Stephen F. Austin Notes: The Lumberjacks opened conference play with a 42-37 upset over Central Arkansas, which had beaten defending conference champion Sam Houston State a week earlier ... the win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Lumberjacks ... with the win over Central Arkansas, SFA is now 10-1 in conference games at Homer Bryce Stadium in the past three seasons ... WR Cordell Roberson continues to turn out 100-yard receiving games ... he caught nine passes for 149 yards and a touchdown against UCA ... he has recorded four 100-yard efforts in the team's five games this season ... with his nine receptions against UCA, Roberson now has 192 career catches ... he needs only four more receptions to the become the fourth player in conference history, and the second Lumberjack this season, to record 200 career receptions ... Roberson is on pace to become the Southland's all-time leading receiver ... he need only 38 more catches to break the record ... SFA now takes on Sam Houston State Saturday at Reliant Stadium in the Battle of the Piney Woods ... the Lumberjacks trail the all-time series 49-35-2, but the teams are split in two games at Reliant Stadium ... SFA has won two of the last three meetings, though fell last year 45-10.

"Piney Woods" Tickets: SHSU Students and Fans may still purchase end zone tickets for $15 and corner tickets for $20 to the "Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium Saturday. The tickets may be purchased now online at www.gobearkats.com/tickets or at the SHSU ticket office in the Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. Ticket office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ticket office phone number is (936) 294-1729.

 

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