CAPE GIRARDEAU — SIU scored first and last in the Salukis’ season opener at 17th ranked Southeast Missouri State. In between was all Redhawks, as SEMO won the War for the Wheel 44-26.
Trailing 14-7 in the second quarter, the Redhawks scored 30 unanswered points over the final 4:30 of the second quarter and first 13:03 of the third.
SEMO senior quarterback Daniel Santacaterina threw for 248 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead the Redhawks’ attack.
SIU controlled the play early, taking a 7-0 lead on Javon Williams, Junior’s one yard, first quarter plunge. Santacaterina tied it with a three yard scamper early in the second.
The Dawgs regained the lead on DJ Davis’ 17-yard TD run. Davis had a big night finishing with 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Redhawks scored twice in the final 4:30 to take a 20-14 lead at the half, and then came out and outscored SIU 17-0 in the third to seize control.
In his first Saluki start, sophomore quarterback Stone Labonowitz was 16-28 for 217 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Southeast gashed the SIU defense for 529 yards, including 281 yards rushing.
The Salukis will hit the road again next week to take on UMass, an FBS school. The Redhawks will also hit the road next Saturday to face Montana State.