Top-ranked Sam Houston pulls out 21-20 win over Lumberjacks

National Sports

HOUSTON (AP)Trapper Pannell ran for a 4-yard touchdown to complete a fourth-quarter comeback and FCS top-ranked Sam Houston edged Stephen F. Austin 21-20 on Saturday.

The Bearkats, playing without banged-up starting quarterback Eric Schmid, got a 26-yard TD pass from Keegan Shoemaker to Ife Adeyi then took advantage of a short field following a Lumberjacks punt from the end zone in driving for the go-ahead score.

The Lumberjacks’ Chris Campos, who kicked a 49-yard field goal earlier, was wide right with a 51-yard try with 40 seconds remaining.

At the end of the third quarter, Stephen F. Austin recovered a high snap at the Sam Houston 9 and Trae Self passed to Lawton Rikel for a TD on the next play to lead 20-6.

Shoemaker, a transfer from Louisiana-Lafayette where he was Patriot League rookie of the year in 2019, was 16-of-29 passing for 222 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Self was 17 of 34 for 215 yards passing with two touchdowns and a pick. Xavier Gipson made nine catches for 100 yards and a score.

Sam Houston (4-0, 2-0 ASUN-WAC Challenge) has won 10 straight over the Lumberjacks (3-2, 0-2). Because of the pandemic, the rivals didn’t play last year for the first time since 1945.

The 95th Battle of the Piney Woods was played at NRG Stadium in Houston.

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