SUU Football Gets Huge Win on Senior Day
SUU had its biggest win of the year on Saturday. What a way to send off the seniors on their last game at Eccles Coliseum.
Here's the press release from Regan Hunsaker- Assistant AD for Sports Information (Full Link)
CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Thunderbird football program celebrated Senior Day with a big 35-6 victory over Lincoln University. Southern Utah honored the Seniors and their families before the game and despite a slow start came out victorious.
Thunderbird Seniors Said
"It is definitely an honor, because of all the hard work we put in… Having a day that you are recognized and having it be your last home game can be a lot of emotion. Embracing that is what you want to do because you don't get another one of these. It felt special for sure. -Isaiah Wooden
"It's been my home (Southern Utah), My wife and I and our daughter love it here. Cedar City means the world to us… It has been a very special place for us and I have had the opportunity to build relationships with a lot of people here." – Justin Miller
"I have been here for what feels like forever but I love Cedar, I love SUU and I love everything about this program, I wouldn't change my experience for the world." – Aubrey Nellems
1st Quarter: Defensive Battle
Both teams started the game by driving into opposing territory before being forced to punt. Neither team seemed to be able to get much going offensively and the first quarter would expire with a 0-0 game.
2nd Quarter: Oaks Score First, T-Birds Respond
Lincoln got on the board first with a sustained drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown run. Despite back-and-forth turnovers for both teams, the T-Birds would get on the board with just 21 seconds left in the half. Justin Miller found Braedon Wissler coming out of the backfield for a 27-yard touchdown pass. The Thunderbirds would add the extra point to take a 7-6 lead into the break.
3rd Quarter: Southern Utah Scores Big
The T-Birds came out of the half ready to play, going 69 yards in just two plays including two catches by Isaiah Wooden to score on a 58-yard pass. The Thunderbirds would score again in their next drive when Miller found Wooden again for a 45-yard touchdown pass. After stopping the Oaks next drive Southern Utah would drive 46 yards in three plays to score again, this time with Miller running the ball into the end zone from one yard out. This would get the Thunderbirds to the fourth quarter with a 28-6 lead.
4th Quarter: T-Birds Tack On
The Thunderbirds started the fourth quarter by scoring off a short field. Starting with the ball on the Lincoln 26 the T-Birds would use 3 plays to get into the end zone. The 5-yard rushing touchdown by Landon Freeman would be the last score of the game, making the final score 35-6.
The offensive leaders for the Thunderbirds put up an impressive performance. Justin Miller completed 17 of his 30 passing attempts, accumulating 252 passing yards and throwing three touchdowns. Miller would also run one touchdown in by himself. His top receiver in the game was Isaiah Wooden who caught seven passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Braedon Wissler also had 2 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, Grady Robison led the team with 67 yards. Landon Freeman added 59 yards and a touchdown in the contest. In total, the Thunderbirds rushed for 186 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. The Thunderbird offense controlled the game despite holding possession for just over 27 minutes.
In the game against the Oaklanders Southern Utah's defense was a total team effort. Aubrey Nellems led the way in tackles, recording 12 total. Robert Horsey had his best game of the season, recording eight total tackles and 2 tackles for a loss. Julian Sanderlin registered four tackles on the game including two big-time sacks.
In addition to the huge effort by the front seven, Trevon Gola-Callard impacted the defense significantly. Gola-Callard picked up seven total tackles including a tackle for a loss. Linebacker Mason Stromstad picked up five tackles and an interception. Quadir Lockett-Smith also picked off a pass in the three-turnover game for the T-Birds. The Thunderbirds' defense played very well holding Lincoln to 253 total yards and just six points.
The Thunderbirds will head out on the road next week to take on Stephen F. Austin in Texas. The game will be on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
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Gallery Credit: David Schultz