The Southeast Missouri State football team hold their helmets in the air as the marching band
plays the school's alma mater after defeating Dayton on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at Houck Stadium. (Ben Matthews ~ Southeast Missourian)
Thanks to a career night from running back Marquis Terry and a late touchdown pass by Daniel Santacaterina, the Southeast Missouri State football team pulled out a win over its regional rival Saturday.
In a game with 10 lead changes, SEMO took the lead for good with 25 seconds left on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Santacaterina to Austin Crump and held on for a 48-44 win over Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Illinois. With seven seconds left, SIU tried a Hail Mary pass from the SEMO 38-yard line, but it wasn't completed, and the Redhawks stormed the field.
The win snapped a 10-game road losing streak.
Terry rushed for four touchdowns and broke the SEMO and Ohio Valley Conference single-game rushing record with 311 yards.
With the win, SEMO takes home a trophy, an authentic ship's wheel, in the first edition of the "War of the Wheel."
The Redhawks went into halftime down 20-17, and it didn't take long for them to take the lead, thanks to an SIU fumble on the opening kickoff of the half.
Terry capped off the two-play drive with a 23-yard touchdown run, eclipsing 200 yards less than a minute into the third quarter.
SIU responded with a 13-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to retake the lead, taking advantage of a pass interference call. It was capped off by a 1-yard plunge from Davis.
The Redhawks weren't fazed as a 44-yard pass from Santacaterina to Jerrick Orr put them in the SIU red zone. Terry did the rest with an 11-yard touchdown run.
A 38-yard field goal from Nicholas Litang gave SEMO a 34-27 lead after three quarters.
A Salukis field goal cut SEMO's lead to 34-30. The Salukis then took the lead on a 9-yard TD pass from Sam Straub to Raphael Leonard with 8:11 remaining.
SEMO responded with Terry's fourth TD run to take a 41-37 lead with less than five minutes left.
SIU drove down the field and took the lead again on an 8-yard pass from Sam Straub to Raphael Leonard.
But SEMO, which has struggled in the fourth quarter in the past, didn't falter and took advantage of a little luck.
On the first play of SEMO's next possession, SIU appeared to seal the win with an interception. A roughing the passer penalty on Santacaterina gave the Redhawks new life, though.
They took advantage with that game-winning pass from Santacaterina to Crump.
Southeast Missouri State running back Marquis Terry has nearly 200 yards rushing at halftime, but the Redhawks trail Southern Illinois 20-17 at halftime Saturday in Carbondale, Illinois.
After an interception on its opening drive, SIU took the early lead on a 39-yard field goal by Nico Gualdoni with 7 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
SEMO's next drive ended in three plays as a tipped pass on third-and-11 led to a Bryce Notree interception. The 27-yard return set the Salukis up at the SEMO 13-yard line. SIU cashed in on the turnover, SEMO's first of the season, thanks to a 7-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Straub.
SEMO responded on the next drive. Quarterback Daniel Santacaterina found Austin Crump in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 10-7 with 2:25 left in the first quarter.
Then it was SEMO's chance to take advantage of a tipped pass as Zach Hall came down with the interception.
Terry scored on a 74-yard touchdown run on the next play to give the Redhawks their first lead of the game, 14-10, with seconds left in the opening quarter.
Cape Central graduate Al Young picked off Straub in the end zone to stop a second-quarter SIU drive, but the Salukis extended the lead to 20-14 thanks to another Gualdoni field goal.
SEMO cut the halftime deficit to three with a 29-yard field goal from Nicholas Litang with four seconds left in the half.
Terry led SEMO's offense in the first half with 190 rushing yards on 16 carries. He was also one of seven Redhawks with a reception as Santacaterina was 7-of-17 passing for 48 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Fresh off a win in the home opener, Southeast Missouri State football looks to beat its regional rival for the first time since 2015.
SEMO is facing Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. Saturday in Carbondale, Illinois, in what has been dubbed the "War for the Wheel." The winner takes home an authentic ship's wheel, which can be displayed on campus or around town until next year's matchup.
The Redhawks (1-1) beat Dayton 40-21 last week thanks to a fourth-quarter offensive surge. SIU (1-1) is coming off a 76-41 loss to Football Bowl Subdivision opponent Mississippi. The Salukis have won 10 of the last 12 meetings between these teams, including the last two.
SEMO's last win came in 2015 when Ryan McCrum made a game-winning field goal with seconds remaining.
Read more about the matchup in my preview story.
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