NACOGDOCHES, Texas — It didn’t take the SFA football team long to score in its home opener on Saturday afternoon. Da’Leon Ward’s 69-yard touchdown scamper on the fifth play of the game set the tone for the day, as the Lumberjacks blasted West Texas A&M by a 34-6 score inside Home Bryce Stadium. SFA improves to 1-3 on the season with the victory.
The Lumberjacks scored on their first three drives of the contest to take a quick 17-0 lead and never let up, surrendering just a pair of field goals to the visitors in the contest. SFA compiled 498 yards of total offense on the day, racking up 234 yards on the ground and another 264 through the air. The Lumberjacks held West Texas A&M’s offense in check on the other end, allowing only 294 yards of total offense to the Buffs.
After winning the coin toss and electing to receive the opening kick, the Lumberjacks earned one first down before Ward went blazing through the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown run, the longest play of the season for SFA. Following a defensive stop on the ensuing Buffs possession, the Lumberjacks struck again in short order, as QB Trae Self found a wide-open Xavier Gipson down the right sideline for a 28-yard TD strike and a quick 14-0 lead. Another quick WT possession later, and the Lumberjacks drove 80 yards in 7:00 of game time to add a 22-yard field goal and extend the lead to 17-0 at the end of the first quarter of play.
After a second quarter in which neither team posted any points on the board, the visitors took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched down the field to SFA’s red zone. The Lumberjacks stood tall once there, however, and held the Buffs to a field goal.
SFA wasted little time in responding to having its lead trimmed down, however, as Self found Remi Simmons for a 63-yard touchdown strike on the third play of SFA’s next possession, extending the lead to 21-3 with nine minutes left to go in the third quarter.
A fourth-quarter field goal from 44 yards out for the Buffs and a 12-yard touchdown run by Jaquarion Turner rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter, as SFA coasted to a comfortable 34-6 margin of victory.
• Quarterback Trae Self passed for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, completing 12-24 passes. He also rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries.
• Xavier Gipson hauled in four catches for a game-high 124 yards and a touchdown, while Remi Simmons brought in three receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown.
• Da’Leon Ward carried the ball 11 times and ran for 111 yards and a touchdown.
• Brevin Randle totaled nine tackles (four solo) with half a sack and 1.5 TFL in the contest. Tkai Lloyd racked up six tackles, including one TFL.
• BJ Thompson recorded a sack and an interception.
The Lumberjacks are back in action next Saturday at home against Angelo State. Kickoff for that game is set for 4:00 p.m.