SAU Tops Wonder Boys in Season Opener

A fast start propelled Southern Arkansas University to a season-opening 38-0 Great American Conference football victory over Arkansas Tech University at Wilkins Stadium in Magnolia on Thursday night.

The Muleriders (1-0) scored two touchdowns within a span of 10 seconds early in the first quarter and never looked back. Barrett Renner’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Karonce Higgins with 9:11 to play in the opening period was followed by a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown by DeMarcus Pegue at the 9:01 mark.

SAU pulled away by adding 24 points to its lead in the second quarter. Renner threw touchdown passes of 14 yards to SirCharles Perkins and four yards to Higgins, Jared Lancaster returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown and Austin Wilkerson made a 29-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

The Muleriders took a 38-0 lead to the halftime locker room and maintained that edge the rest of the way. It was Arkansas Tech’s first shutout loss since Nov. 1, 2014, and its first shutout loss on the road since Oct. 5, 2013.

Renner finished 25-of-36 for 299 yards and three touchdowns.

SAU’s win marked the 11th consecutive meeting in which the home team has won the game between the Muleriders and the Wonder Boys.

The Wonder Boys (0-1) will make their 2018 home debut when they host Henderson State University for a GAC contest at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday, Sept. 8. A 6 p.m. kickoff is planned. Party at the Plaza, the pre-game tailgating celebration outside the stadium on Centennial Plaza, will begin at 4 p.m.