Aug. 30, 2007
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team kicks off a new era Saturday in its 2007 season opener against Tarleton State. The Lumberjacks will take the field under new head coach J.C. Harper, who leads the team after spending the past two seasons as the 'Jacks' defensive coordinator. An NCAA Division II power, Tarleton State is coming off a 6-5 (.545) campaign that saw them go 5-1 (.833) in the Lone Star Conference in 2006. The Texans opened the season last Saturday defeating East Central, 44-7. The 'Jacks enter 2007 after going 4-7 (.364) overall last year, and finished tied for second in the Southland Conference with a 4-2 (.667) league record. Saturday's game is slated to get underway at 6 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium.
The Lumberjacks are 9-2 (.818) all-time against Tarleton State, and 3-1 (.750) against the Texans in Nacogdoches. The 'Jacks' lone home loss to Tarleton State came during the 1975 season when the Texans escaped Nacogdoches with a one-point decision, 14-13. Today's game marks the first time the two schools have met on the gridiron since the 1998 season when SFA recorded a 28-3 victory. It is only the second time the two schools have met in football since 1975.
After consecutive one-win seasons in Southland Conference play, the 'Jacks began to turn things around in 2006. SFA won four Southland Conference last year to finish tied for second in the league standings.
There is a ton of excitement surrounding the 2007 Lumberjack football team, and most of that is centered around its wealth of returning talent. SFA returns 40 letterwinners from last year's squad, including 2006 All-Southland Conference selections Danny Southall (QB), Louie Runnels (RB), Taylor Cobb (C), Brock Pasteur (OL), Leonard Lynce (FB), Damian Perkins (LB), Bug Aymond (LB), Dominique Edison (WR), Daimyeon Hoskin (DE), Tim Knicky (DE) and Vincent Pervis (RB/KR).
First-year head coach J.C. Harper became the school's 18th head coach in December of 2006. He spent the past two seasons as the 'Jacks' defensive coordinator, turning the SFA defense into one of the top units in the conference. Tarleton State is in its third season under head coach Sam McElroy, who has gone 14-7 (.667) during his time in Stephenville.