Central Arkansas sophomore quarterback Breylin Smith threw for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns in leading the Bears past Southeastern Louisiana 33-25 in both teams' Southland Conference opener Saturday night at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, La.
Smith was 22-of-31 passing, throwing 2 touchdowns to Brandon Myers and 1 apiece to Cedric Battle and Jakari Dillard.
The Bears (2-1, 1-0 Southland) opened a 13-10 halftime lead on touchdown passes from Smith to Myers for 43 yards and to Battle for 40 yards.
UCA expanded the lead to 27-10 in the third when Carlos Blackman ran for a 6-yard score, and Smith found Dillard for a 15-yard touchdown after Chris Terrell recovered a fumble at the Southeastern Louisiana 25.
A short touchdown run by the Lions got them to within 27-17 near the end of the third quarter, but Smith found Myers for a 61-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth to give the Bears a 33-17 lead.
Southeastern Louisiana's Chason Virgil found Bransen Schwebel on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 1:24 remaining to set the final margin. UCA recovered the onside-kick attempt and ran out the clock.
Blackman led all rushers with 70 yards on 13 attempts.
Virgil was 26-of-51 passing for the Lions for 384 yards and 1 touchdown. He also led the team in rushing, running for 53 yards on 10 attempts.
The Lions outgained the Bears 496-443 in total offense and had seven more first downs (23-16). The Bears benefited by winning the turnover margin 3-0.
Southeastern Louisiana was penalized 16 times for 140 yards, while UCA was flagged 4 times for 34 yards.
The game, which started at 7:05 p.m. and wasn't finished until 12:02 a.m., had a weather delay of over an hour in the fourth quarter with the Bears holding a 33-17 lead.
Sports on 09/16/2018
Print Headline: Smith's big game enough for Bears