Southeastern’s Landor likely to sit, rest for Southland play
(STATS) – Southeastern Louisiana quarterback D’Shaie Landor might prove to be healthy enough to play this weekend, but coach Ron Roberts is leaning toward sitting him out.
The 20th-ranked Lions (2-0) have a bye week after visiting Ohio on Saturday. That extra time could give Landor a chance to heal from a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder when Southeastern continues its quest for a third straight Southland Conference title Oct. 1 against Lamar.
"I’m not going to risk it with him," Roberts said. "He could be cleared to play, but if he dings it again, he may miss another game. … If I rest him up, we might have a chance. For me, it’s all about conference."
Landor had 125 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Sept. 3 season opener, a 34-20 win at Northwestern State that was also the league opener. Freshman Donovan Isom, a transfer from Utah, played most of last week’s 28-17 win over Florida Tech and would likely start if Landor is out.
Stephen F. Austin quarterback Zach Conque is day-to-day with what coach Clint Conque called "lower-body injuries," leaving his status unclear for this weekend’s conference opener against visiting McNeese State.
"There’s a lot of treatment and time until the end of the week," the SFA coach said.
Hunter Taylor would likely start if the 2014 Southland newcomer of the year can’t go.
Sam Houston State is expecting to get one of its two injured offensive linemen, guard Forrest Reedy, back for its conference opener against Lamar, but tackle Brandon DeWitt – a preseason all-SLC pick – might not return from his undisclosed ailment for another week.
Northwestern State will visit Mississippi State this weekend and has a couple of connections with Bulldogs star quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott’s brother, Jace, was an offensive linemen for the Demons from 2008-10 and one of the team’s current quarterbacks, sophomore J.D. Almond, played at the same high school in Haughton, Louisiana.
"Obviously we’re very familiar with him and his family, and likewise," coach Jay Thomas said.
Almond is one of four quarterbacks who have seen action for Northwestern State and could play on the same field as his former classmate Saturday.
Prior to this season, Clint Conque and his staff have started 0-2 just once before. That was in 2007, when the group led Central Arkansas in its first season in the Southland.
He’ll try to keep Stephen F. Austin from its first 0-3 start since it went 0-11 that same year, but will have to face a McNeese team that’s just outside the STATS Top 25 on Saturday. The Lumberjacks have already faced a difficult slate in No. 24 Northern Arizona and FBS national title contender TCU.
"One game is not going to define our season, but we need something good to happen," Conque said. "We need to create some success."
SFA claimed a 31-16 road win over the Cowboys in Conque’s first season in Nacogdoches, and he considers McNeese one of the league’s standard bearers.
"I certainly enjoy competing against McNeese because I’ve felt like they’ve carried the flag for this conference overall for a high level for many years," he said. "You’re always going to get a great game out of them. We always look forward to that."
After its game at LSU on Sept. 5 was canceled, McNeese State opened its season with a 43-6 win over Incarnate Word this past weekend and will try to move to 2-0 in the Southland.
Already the all-time receptions leader at Lamar, Reggie Begelton is close to adding another school mark to his resume. The senior needs 76 yards in Saturday’s Southland opener against Sam Houston State to top Ronnie Gebauer’s 2,098 from 1967-70. Begelton had 10 catches for 96 yards in the Cardinals’ 66-31 loss at Baylor last weekend.
Northwestern State’s Ed Eagan needs four catches to surpass Derrick Doyle’s 126 for the Demons’ career record. Eagan already owns five program marks, has a share of another and is in the top five in career all-purpose yards.
Incarnate Word’s Trent Brittain is six completions shy of claiming his fourth career record at the school in two weeks. He broke marks for total yards, passing yards and pass attempts in the loss to McNeese.
A clip of Southeastern’s 320-pound defensive lineman Ashton Henderson returning a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown against Florida Tech has gone viral, making it on to FOX Sports’ website. Henderson’s score was one of three defensive tallies for the Lions last weekend among nine forced turnovers.
"It was any lineman’s dream," Roberts said. "That’s something that’s going to live in his memory forever, and he’ll be able to tell that story when he’s 70 years old. It was a pretty exciting play."
STATS All-America defensive back Harlan Miller had one of his team’s five interceptions and his third in two games. He’s already matched his total from last season and is one shy of tying his single-season high from 2013.