Big plays help Northwestern St. beat Stephen F. Austin 35-23
NACOGDOCHES, Texas (AP) — Shelton Eppler threw two touchdown passes to Jaylen Watson and Myles Ward had a 94-yard kickoff return for a score to help Northwestern State beat Stephen F. Austin 35-23 on Thursday night.
Eppler was 20-of-31 passing for 295 yards with three first-half interceptions and Watson finished with four receptions for 123 yards. Jared West had 20 carries for 98 yards and a score and Stadford Anderson added 88 yards rushing and a touchdown for Northwestern State (5-6, 4-5 Southland Conference).
Anderson’s 1-yard TD run gave the Demons a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter but Tamrick Pace scored on a 71-yard catch-and-run 43 seconds later and Storm Ruiz kick field goals of 22 and 32 yards in the final 1:12 of the half to give Stephen F. Austin a nine-point lead at the break.
Ward returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a score before Watson’s 20-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter capped a seven-play, 97-yard drive and made it 21-16. Watson added a 75-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth.
Foster Sawyer completed 30 of 50 passes for 325 yards and a score for the Lumberjacks (2-8, 2-7), who closed their season with three consecutive losses.