WAXAHACHIE — It is one thing for an unranked opponent to upend a team ranked in the top-10 in the nation. But, what the Southwestern Assemblies of God University football team did to NAIA No. 10 Arizona Christian University was a statement.
SAGU defeated Arizona Christian University 43-6 Saturday afternoon at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie. The win moved the Lions to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Central States Football League.
Saturday marked the first time ACU has lost in conference play since joining the CSFL in 2015.
SAGU head football coach Frank Tristan said he was pleased with his ball club after the game and knows the significance of a win over a top-10 opponent.
“Our guys played well in all phases today. Offensively, we executed, special teams paid great attention to detail, and defensively we did not give up the big play," Tristan said. "I am extremely proud of our seniors today and the leadership they provided. CJ (Collins) was really accurate today and Justin Allen came up big for us.”
The SAGU defense was able to jumpstart the game by recovering an ACU fumble in the Lions' red zone after a long drive by ACU.
SAGU took over and scored on their first drive of the game with a JP Lowery 2-yard touchdown run.
After the initial SAGU score, the two teams battled back-and-forth defensively until the 13:49 mark in the 2nd quarter when junior quarterback CJ Collins hit Justin Allen for a 76-yard touchdown pass.
SAGU scored two more times in the first half, both coming on passes from Collins. Collins hit Roderick Brown with a 42-yard pass and would connect with Justin Allen again — this time on a 23-yard strike.
Defensively, SAGU held ACU scoreless in the first half. Senior Matt Williams had eight tackles, Landon Jones and Coby Roach had seven tackles, and Jordaan Coleman pitched in with five tackles. The SAGU defense forced two fumbles and picked off a pair of ASU passes. Senior Carl Morgan and freshman Michael Mast each had an interception.
The SAGU offense collected 503 total yards with 206 on the ground and 297 in the air.
CJ Collins was 18-of-25 through the air and accounted for three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Justin Allen had a big day for Lions. Allen had six catches going for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running backs JP Lowery and Ricky Bickham rushed for 98 and 88 yards, respectively.
Tluang Hmung made all four extra-point kicks and made three field goals with a long of 36 yards coming at the end of the third quarter.
The win over ACU today was something senior offensive lineman, Devo McNeal, said the Lions had prepared hard for all week long —and have talked about even longer.
McNeal explained the team’s emotions after the game, “This was a huge win for the SAGU football program. This week our coaches prepared us for this game and got us ready to play to our full potential. The offense executed well today and our defense played fast and forced some big turnovers.”
SAGU goes into a bye week next Saturday and will return to action on Oct. 14 against Wayland Baptist. This will be the Homecoming game for SAGU. Game time is 2 p.m. at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium.