BEARKATS TAKE TWO GAME WINNING STREAK TO LOUISIANA
Back on the winning track after a pair of victories at pro stadiums in Houston, Sam Houston heads to Thibodaux, La., for an important Southland Conference match-up with Nicholls State.
The Bearkats defeated Texas Southern 50-6 at BBVA Stadium (home of the Houston Dynamo) on Sept. 27, then downed Stephen F. Austin last Saturday 51-43 at Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans).
Sam Houston leads its all-time football series with Nicholls State 15 victories to 11. There has been one tie (1992). The Bearkats are 6-8-1 against the Colonels in Thibodaux.
The Kats have won the last six meetings. Nicholls' last victory over SHSU came in 2005 in Thibodaux by a score of 37-17.
The series began in 1979 with 29-10 home victory for Nicholls.
BEARKATS IN THE PELICAN STATE
Crossing the Sabine River has not always seen good outcomes for the Bearkats. SHSU stands 26-53-3 in football games in the Pelican State.
ANOTHER RECORD CROWD AT RELIANT
For the third year in a row, "The Battle of the Piney Woods" at Reliant Stadium in Houston set an NCAA Division I FCS attendance record for the state of Texas. This year 26,185 fans saw Sam Houston State defeat SFA 51-43.
KSAM 101.7 FM will broadcast all Sam Houston games home and away again. The broadcast also may be heard anywhere in the world online at www.gobearkats.com. Streaming video of home games at Bowers Stadium is also available at a modest rate.
QUOTES FROM COACH WILLIE FRITZ
KATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Sam Houston stands No. 9 in both the Sports Network Poll and the NCAA FCS Coaches national rankings this week.
SHSU has been in the top 25 in the FCS polls a total of 18 consecutive weeks since debuting in the national poll on Sept. 9, 2011.
During an 11-0 regular season, the Kats rose all the way to No. 1 at the beginning of the national playoffs. Sam Houston has ranked among the FCS top 10 for 15 consecutive weeks.
Walter Payton Award candidate Timothy Flanders - already Sam Houston's all-time rushing leader - has become the 11th played in Southland Conference football history to gain 3,000 career yards rushing. Flanders picked up his school record 18th career 100-yard game, carrying 27 times for 125 yards in the SFA victory. His career total now stands at 3,092 yards.
Flanders ranks fifth in Southland career rushing touchdowns (39) and sixth in league annals in total touchdowns (42)
Two more touchdowns will allow Flanders to pass kicker Billy Hayes (258 points on 117 PATs and 47 field goals in 1985-88) in all-time Sam Houston scoring. Flanders has scored 252 points.
Senior kicking specialist Miguel Antonio also is closing in on Hayes. Antonio's 243 career kicking points (120 PAT 41 FG) is behind Hayes by 15 points.
Wide receiver Trey Diller has shown big-play potential as well this year. He leads Bearkat receiving with 20 catches for 332 yards (66.4 per game). He also leads the Southland in kickoff return average (30.6) and has produced 122 yards on 19 punt returns including a long of 49.
Quarterback Brian Bell, who accounted for 237 yards total offense and had a hand in five SHSU touchdowns Saturday against SFA, is making his mark in the record book as well. Bell has passed for 4,467 career yards including 36 TD passes. Dustin Long, All-Southland QB on SHSU's 2004 NCAA Division I semifinalist and league champion, holds the Bearkat career TD pass record (39). Bell ranks behind Rhett Bower (5,964 yards in 2007-08), Arthur Louis (4,902 yards in 1977-80) and Long (4,588 yards in 2004) in SHSU career passing.
Bell also ranks No. 2 in all-time SHSU career total offense yards with a mark of 5,139 yards. Rhett Bomar rolled up his school record of 6,160 in 2007 and 2008.
Junior cornerback Bookie Sneed snapped Sam Houston record that had stood since 1968 with his 92-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter of the SFA game Saturday. Paul Wenzel returned an interception 90 yards against Sul Ross for the Kat mark that stood for 44 years.
Senior cornerback Dax Swanson intercepted passes against Baylor and Texas Southern to up his career total to 12 interceptions. Ronnie Choate (1955-59) holds the SHSU career interception record with 13. Gary Kimble (1981-84) and Mark Hughes (2001-04) also picked off 12 career interceptions.
Junior Preston Sanders blocked a field goal and an extra point to move into fourth place in career blocks with five. Four of the five blocks have been field goals, a school mark.
Senior Kenneth Jenkins picked up Sanders' PAT block after Texas Southern's only TD and returned it for a defensive PAT return, only the second in SHSU school history. The first was by Courtney Boston against Mississippi Valley State in 2001.
Senior safety Darnell Taylor leads the Sam Houston in tackles this season with 41. He now ranks No. 7 in Bearkat career tackles with 277.
SOUTHLAND PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Sam Houston State swept the weekly Southland Conference football player of the week honors after its 51-43 win over SFA.
Junior quarterback Brian Bell was the offensive player of the week, junior cornerback Bookie Sneed won defensive honors and senior punter Matt Foster was the special teams player of the week.
Bell picked up 22nd career victory as starting quarterback for Sam Houston, directing the offense in a 51-43 win over rival Stephen F. Austin.
Sneed returned an interception 92 yards for touchdown that put SHSU in the lead, 20-14, with 5:55 remaining in 2nd quarter. .
Foster helped Sam Houston win the field position battle with a 45.1 average, including long of 61 yards. The senior from Melbourne, Australia, landed three punts inside the 20.
"Nicholls State will present us with a lot of challenges. They play a 3-4 defense that we haven't seen much. They were up on Central Arkansas at halftime. We've got to be ready to play Saturday at Thibodaux. Our goal this week is to play Bearkat football for four quarters."SERIES WITH NICHOLLS STATE