#17/23 Southeastern (8-3) vs. #18/24 Idaho (7-4) | NCAA FCS Playoffs | First round
11/26/2022 | 6 p.m. | Strawberry Stadium | Hammond, La.
Series Story: First Meeting
TV: ESPN+ (Voices: Jack Benjamin, LaDarrin McLane)
Radio: Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM, The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 AM (Voices: Mark Willoughby, Allen Waddell and Robbie Rhodes)
HAMMOND, La. – For the second year in a row and third time in the last four years, playoff football returns to Hammond, America when the #17-23 Southeastern Louisiana University football team hosts the #18-24 Idaho at Strawberry Stadium a first-round contest in the NCAA FCS playoffs on Saturday at 6 p.m
Saturday’s game between the Southland Conference Champions Lions (8-3) and the visiting Vandals (will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can be heard live on the Southeastern Sports Radio Network (Kajun 107.1 FM, The Highway 104.7 FM, The Boss 103.7 FM/1400 The Tilt SLU-Idaho winner will meet sixth-place Samford in the second round on Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m
League champions Southeastern placed a 13-man SLC high on the All-Southland team under SLC Coach of the Year Frank Scelfo. Offensive Lineman of the Year John Allen was joined in the first team by punter Austin Dunlap, kick returner Gage Larvadain, and defensemen Jack Henderson, Zy Alexander and Ferlando Jordan.
Larvadain was also a second team pick at wide receiver. Other SLU representatives from the second team included running back Carlos Washington Jr., tight end Ivan Drobocky, offensive lineman Dom Serapiglia III, offensive lineman Jhy Orgeron, kicker Riley Callaghan, defensive end Arlen Williams, and linebacker Donte’ Daniels.
Southeastern, making their fifth postseason appearance in school history, enters the competition Saturday on a five-game winning streak. The Lions clinched their third SLC title and first since 2014 after overtaking Nicholls (40-17) in last Thursday’s regular-season finals.
Southeastern finished Thursday’s win with 423 total yards as Eli Sawyer completed 19 of 24 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns — including two for Drobocky. The other touchdown reception was from Jessie Britt, who led the Lions with 90 yards and 11 carries.
Southeastern goes into the postseason averaging 33.8 points and 431.4 yards per contest. Sawyer (121 for 194, 1,605 yards, 11 TD, 1 INT) and Cephus Johnson III (101-158, 1,146 yards, 10 TD, 5 INT) have below-average split times for the Lions.
Larvadain (45 catches, 582 yards, 2 TD) and Maurice Massey (32-432-4 TD) are the top targets in the passing game, while Drobocky is team-high with six touchdowns. Carlos Washington Jr. (586 yards, 11 TD), Johnson III (419-3 TD) and Britt (374-5 TD) are the top rushers for the Lions.
The Lions defense limited Nicholls to 270 total yards Thursday and forced the Colonels to four turnovers. Alexander and Brandon Barbee each recorded interceptions, while Ian Goodly and Anthony Britton Jr. forced fumbles, which were recovered by Donniel Ward-Magee and Cullan Scott. Henderson paced SLU with nine tackles.
Opponents average 22.5 points and 374.9 yards per match against Southeastern. Daniels leads the team with 79 tackles, followed by Herman Christophe (74), Henderson (69), Britton Jr. (65) and Ward-Magee (58). Christophe, Henderson, Ward-Magee, Alexander and Barbee share Team High honors with two interceptions apiece.
Dunlap leads the Southland Conference and is eighth in the SLC with a 43.7 punting average. Callaghan has a league-high 14 field goals, while Darius Lewis (10.4) and Larvadain (25.0) lead the Southland among qualifiers in punt and kick return averages, respectively.
Idaho is making the playoffs for the first time since returning to FCS from the FBS ahead of the 2018 season. The Vandals made eleven postseason appearances from 1982 to 1995 during their previous stint as an FCS member.
The Vandals ended the Big Sky Conference 6-2 after ending the regular season with a 38-7 win over Idaho State last Saturday.
Idaho comes ito Hammond averaging 35.4 points and 430.4 yards per contest. Geovani McCoy (2,376 yards, 25 TD, 5 INT), finalist for the Jerry Rice Award for the nation’s top freshman, leads the Vandals offense with Hayden Hatten (74 catches, 1,000 yards, 15 TD) and Jermaine Jackson (938-4 TD) his top goals. Anthony Woods leads Idaho with 814 rushing yards while Roshaun Johnson is a team-high with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Idaho averages 23.6 points and 325.4 yards per contest. Fa’Avae Fa’Avae leads the Vandals with 99 tackles while Tommy McCormick, Paul Moala and Murvin Kenion III share top team honors with four interceptions each.
For ticketing information, contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net. Southeastern will continue to offer mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2022-23 season. All tickets are available via email or SMS in PDF format for fans to download to their phones or print out at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.
For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @LionUpFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook, and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.