Keiser University Football Wins Inaugural Game 24-17 in Overtime
As Keiser University campuses throughout the state held kick-off parties, Keiser University’s Seahawk Football Team won its inaugural game 24-17 against the University of Pikeville Bears in overtime on Thursday, August 23rd.
Background and highlights include:
- 667 days ago Keiser University announced the addition of a football program, 582 days ago Coach Doug Socha was hired, and 567 days ago the first recruit signed onto the program.
- The Seahawks traveled 15 hours by bus to Pikeville, Kentucky for their inaugural game and needed more than just regulation, winning in overtime, 24-17.
- Keiser won the opening coin toss and chose to defer to the second half, giving Pikeville the ball first.
- The opening quarter came and went without any points being put on the scoreboard as the Bears kicker, William Chandler missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.
- Chandler redeemed himself in the second quarter with 10:32 remaining as he connected on a 33-yard field goal to put the home team in front, 3-0.
- On the ensuing KU possession, the offense went three-and-out before Jarrett Mill’s punt was blocked and recovered by the Bears on the Seahawks 16-yard yard line.
- However, Keiser’s defense came up big with three consecutive stops, including a 12-yard sack by Victor Alvarez Jr. to force the Bears into their third field goal try of the half.
- The 41-yard attempt by Chandler was wide left with Pikeville clinging to the 3-0 advantage at halftime.
- Keiser went “Seahawk Fast” as they equalized the game on the opening drive of the third quarter, going 14-plays over 75-yards with Logan Robinson hitting from 32-yards out making it 3-3.
- Pikeville answered right back on the next possession as Xondre Willis turned a broken play into a 51-yard rushing touchdown. However, the PAT was no good, but the Bears went back in front, 9-3 with 9:39 left in the third.
- The remainder of the quarter went scoreless, setting up an exciting fourth quarter of play under the lights in Kentucky.
- Marques Burgess took a handoff from Mathews on the 12-yard line and ran it in the end zone for the programs first touchdown, tying the game at nine apiece. Following an extra-point by Mills, KU led for the first time in the game, 10-9 with 13:42 left in regulation.
- For the second time in the game, the Bears scored on the next possession as Willis ran it in from six yards out for his second touchdown of the game. UPike went for two and were successful as Bowen Smith found Duke Ferguson in the back of the end zone for a 17-10 advantage with 8:00 showing.
- After alternating possessions, the Seahawks defense forced a Pikeville punt with 2:37 remaining, starting the drive from their own 39-yard line.
- On the very first play of the drive, Burgess got free for an eleven-yard pickup. Mathews then found Jaylen Arnold for a 16-yard pickup, moving the ball into Pikeville territory on their 39-yard line.
- Following an incomplete pass, Mathews hooked up with Carlos Silencieux for a huge 19-yard gain and a first down on the 20-yard line.
- The Seahawks dug into their trick play well with a reverse for a pickup of a yard before Mathews recorded his first collegiate touchdown pass, finding Arnold in the end zone to pull Keiser within one. Robinson converted on the extra-point and the contest was tied for a second time on the evening with 1:11 to go.
- Keiser’s defense came up with three straight stops as the inaugural game would go into overtime.
- The Seahawks would start with the football in the overtime period after losing the coin toss.
- KU went 3-for-3 on fourth down attempts before Burgess punched it in from one out yard out take a 24-17 lead after Robinson made the point after.
- It was then Pikeville’s turn with the football in the overtime period. After marching into the red-zone, Sage Chen-Young sealed the inaugural game with an interception, lifting Keiser to the programs first victory.
Keiser Standout Players
- Marqus Burgess, the freshman running back, ran for 99 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
- Eli Mathews, the freshman quarterback, 16-for-28 for 136 yards and a touchdown.
- Cordel Wiley, the freshman linebacker recorded a team-best eight tackles.
- Victor Alvarez Jr., the sophomore defensive lineman had a game-best two sacks to go along with six tackles.
- Logan Robinson, the freshman kicker was 1-for-1 on field goals with his 32-yard attempt.
- Jarrett Mills, the freshman punter accumulated 140 yards on five punts. He put three inside the 20.
Keiser at Bluefield on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield, West Virginia at 6:00 p.m. Follow Keiser University Seahawk athletics at www.kuseahawks.com
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Keiser University is pleased to join forces with guest lecturer, and New York Times Bestselling author Don Yaeger, to offer The Greatness Leadership Initiative: Transforming the World in the Face of Change. This open, online course is available free of charge to all in the Keiser University community. Stay tuned for more information!