Southeast Missouri State football opened its 2018 home campaign with a win, pulling away from Dayton late in the fourth quarter for a 40-21 win Saturday at Houck field.
SEMO led 26-21 with less than six minutes left in the game, and Dayton facing a 4th-and-8 in SEMO territory. The defense held, forcing a turnover on downs. On the next play, Zack Smith scored on a 73-yard touchdown run. That gave SEMO a 33-21 lead, its first double-digit advantage of the day.
That proved more than enough for the Redhawks (1-1).
Dayton (1-1) opened the second half with a 9-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. It was capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jack Cook to Richie Warfield to give the Flyers a 14-13 lead.
SEMO responded with its own touchdown drive, converting a fourth down along the way. Santacaterina found Kristian Wilkerson for a 4-yard touchdown and a 20-14 SEMO lead.
It stayed that way until early in the fourth when Dayton's Tucker Yinger went untouched over the left side of the offensive line for a 35-yard TD. Santacaterina again led the Redhawks down the field and again found Wilkerson in the end zone. That 19-yard TD pass gave SEMO a 26-21 after a failed two-point conversion.
SEMO's defense then held and Smith did the rest.
Marquis Terry added a 95-yard TD run late to seal the final score. He finished with 206 yards on 16 carries (12.6 yards per carry).
SEMO out-scored Dayton 20-7 in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to a blocked punt late in the second quarter, Southeast leads Dayton 13-7 at halftime.
A blocked punt gave the Redhawks the ball at Dayton's 11-yard line with 5 minutes, 57 seconds left in the half. Two plays later, quarterback Daniel Santacaterina scored on a 9-yard touchdown run.
SEMO won the coin toss and elected to recieve. The Redhawks marched down the field, and Nicholas Litang made a 37-yard field goal to give SEMO a 3-0 lead.
Dayton took a 7-3 lead with 7:39 left in the first quarter on a 21-yard TD run by quarterback Jack Cook.
Southeast cut the deficit to 7-6 on a 35-yard Litang field goal. The blocked punt then gave the offense a short field and Santacaterina did the rest.
SEMO will now look to secure its first win of the 2018 season in its home opener.
Santacaterina, who was carted off the field during last week's season opener, is 11-of-17 passing for 88 yards but has missed several throws low. Marquis Terry has 66 yards rushing on six carries.
After an opening loss, Southeast Missouri State football returns to Cape Girardeau for its home opener Saturday.
The Redhawks (0-1) welcome Dayton to Houck Field at 1 p.m. Saturday, kicking off the 2018 home slate.
Dayton (1-0) won last year, beating SEMO 25-23 in Ohio. SEMO Quarterback Daniel Santacaterina is cleared to play after he was carted off the field during a 48-21 loss to Arkansas State last week. He later returned to the sideline. Wide receiver Richie Eisenhart remains out with a right leg injury.
This is also SEMO's first game against a fellow Football Championship Subdivision. Arkansas State is a Football Bowl Subdivision program. It's also the second of three non-conference games to begin the season for SEMO.
Dayton is a member of the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League.
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