20th ranked Southeast Missouri (9-3) rallied from a 14-point deficit by scoring 28 third-quarter points en route to a 28-14 win over 15th ranked Stony Brook (7-5) Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs in Cape Girardeau. It was the first playoff victory in school history in the first home playoff game for the Redhawks.
SEMO entered Saturday’s game with a +27 turnover ratio, which leads the nation. Down 14-0, Justin Swift and Taj Jenkins came up with interceptions on the Seawolves first two drives of the second half, leading to touchdowns as the Redhawks tied the game 14-14. Quarterback Daniel Santacaterina threw his second touchdown pass of the quarter after the Redhawks started with a short field and was aided by three Stony Brook penalties to give SEMO a 21-14 lead. Later in the quarter, another turnover set up the fourth score of the third. A 39-yard punt by Jake Reynolds hit a Stony Brook player and Demarcus Rogers recovered the fumble at the Seawolves 38-yard line. On the next play, Santacaterina tossed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Kristian Wilkerson with 3:42 left in the third.
The Redhawks first-ever playoff win came during just their second postseason appearance of all-time. SEMO is in the postseason for the first time since 2010. In addition, Saturday’s win marked SEMO’s ninth this year tying the most wins in a season in program history.
SEMO travels to #2 Weber State for a second round matchup on Dec. 1.
Photo courtesy SEMO Athletics