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Colby Sessums Seals Historic FBS Victory for Sam Houston with Last-Second Field Goal

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Sam Houston Snaps Losing Streak with Thrilling 24-21 Win Over Kennesaw State

HUNTSVILLE — The win column never felt so good for the Bearkats.

Colby Sessums kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired to lift Sam Houston to a 24-21 victory over Kennesaw State at Bowers Stadium on Saturday.

The win was the first for the Kats as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision and the first of the season, snapping a 10-game losing streak dating back to the 2022 season.

The Bearkats (1-8) showed the resiliency they have all season late in the fourth quarter with a clutch touchdown to knot the game at 21. Sam Houston methodically moved the ball into Owl territory with a mixture of rushes and short passes that resulted on a 2-yard scoring pass from quarterback Keegan Shoemaker to wide receiver Jay Rockwell, who just got his feet inbounds with 3:49 left in the game.

For the third time this season, Sam Houston’s defense came up with a huge stop to pitch its third second half shutout of the season when Kennesaw (2-6) got the ball back. The Owls had to punt, and the Kats got the ball back near midfield.

The offense went on the march behind plays by Shoemaker, running backs Zach Hrbacek and John Gentry, tight end Noah Sohn and wideout Noah Smith to setup Sessums heroics.

The first half was totally different in the Owls’ favor.

Sam Houston fell in an early hole when Kennesaw State scored on a 75-yard run on its first possession. The Owls turned a Bearkat turnover into another touchdown nine minutes later to go up two scores.

The Kats finally put something together offensively to answer the early onslaught. 

Hrbacek hauled in a pass from Shoemaker for a 21-yard gain that eventually setup a 24-yard scoring pass from Shoemaker to Smith to cut the lead to 14-7 with seven minutes left in the first half.

Kennesaw State got another explosive run, this time 57 yards, to go back up two scores at 21-7 on the ensuing possession.

Sam Houston’s defense shut down the Owls in the third quarter to give the squad a chance to get back in it.

With less than six minutes to go in the period, the Kats drove deep into Kennesaw territory when Smith hauled in a 31-yard pass and a personal foul penalty on the Owls moved the ball to the 10. Four plays later, Shoemaker rolled out of the pocket and hit a leaping Elijah Sohn in the end zone from five yards out to pull within 21-14.

That spark carried Sam Houston to the finish line.

The Kats will now hit the road for a Saturday matinee at Louisiana Tech on November 11. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. from Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston.

• The win was the first walk-off, game-winning field goal for Sam Houston since Tre Hohnstein nailed a 34-yard field goal at the end of the first OT to beat Central Arkansas on Sept 29, 2018. 

• It is the first go-ahead field goal for the Kats in regulation in the last minute of play since 2009 when Miguel Antonio nailed a 24-yarder with 26 seconds to play to give SHSU a 48-45 win over North Dakota State. 

• Sam Houston held KSU to just 56 yards of total offense on only 16 plays and 2 first downs in the second half of play. 

• The Kats shut KSU out in the second half. It was the third time this season SHSU has shut out its opponent in the second half, also doing so at Liberty and NM State. 

• The last 2 touchdown drives of the game for the Kats spanned 13 plays for 74 yards and 16 plays for 80 yards.  

• The 3 turnovers in the opening half tied for the most in a full game this year by the Kats, having also given away 3 turnovers at BYU in the season opener. 

• Keegan Shoemaker threw for a career-high 3 touchdowns vs the Owls; he has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of the Kats’ last 6 games. 

• Jay Rockwell’s 2-yard touchdown catch was the first of his career. 

• Statistically, Da’Marcus Crosby turned in a carbon copy of his effort vs UTEP, finishing with 10 tackles and an interception.  

• Trevor Williams picked up 8 more tackles to his credit to give him 360 for his career. That moved him past Pete Garner for third all-time at SHSU in career tackles and has him 23 stops behind Lish Adams for second all-time. Stan Blinka holds the SHSU record with 538. 

• Noah Smith finished with 7 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, along with a rush for 13 yards. His 24-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter not only opened the scoring for the Bearkats, but was his 15th career touchdown grab, tying him with Jason Mathenia for 10th at SHSU. LaDarius Brown is next on the list with 16. 

• His 7 catches also moved him past Jarrod Fuller, Kevin Pesak and Clay Lowry into fifth all-time in career receptions, with 152. Now in his sights is Jonathon Cooper who is in fifth with 185. 

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