'Jacks Continue To Prepare For Cowboys

Oct. 4, 2000

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks went through a sharp, two-hour workout Wednesday afternoon as they continue to prepare for their Southland Football League opener with McNeese State. The 'Jacks travel to Lake Charles to meet the Cowboys Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Quarterback Wes Pate continues his return to the form that garnered preseason First Team All-Southland Football League honors for the Arp junior following a knee sprain in the season opener. Pate returned to the playing field for the first time since August 31, in the 37-30 loss to Northern Iowa on September 23.Pate was 19 of 43 for 239 yards and a touchdown in his return. He was also intercepted once.

SFA head coach Mike Santiago said that he thinks Pate is close to being back. "It was good to knock some of the rust off Wes against Northern Iowa. He has looked very good this week in practice, and hopefully that will carry over into the game with McNeese State."

Running back Derrick Blaylock is also expected to be at 100% when the Lumberjacks open defense of their 1999 Southland Football League co-championship. Blaylock has missed parts of the last two outings due to a shoulder bruise. With the off week, Blaylock is expected to be at, or near, full strength for the Lumberjacks, who lead the SFL in scoring offense and first downs.

SFA and McNeese have been involved in some barn burners in the past, and this year should be no exception. In 1998, McNeese State came from behind to win 20-17 on a Shonz LaFranz field goal with less than two minutes to play. In 1997, SFA won in Nacogdoches 13-7. The 'Jacks led 13-0 before McNeese State scored midway through the fourth period.

In 1996 in Lake Charles, the 'Jacks trailed by 13 points going into the fourth quarter. The SFA defense held McNeese State scoreless in the final period, while the offensive unit scored two touchdowns, the second coming with just 15 seconds to play, to give the 'Jacks a 38-37 win.


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