Miami Gardens — A 24-0 deficit in the first half was too much to overcome for the Southeastern Fire Saturday in Miami Gardens. And as a result, the football program suffered it’s first loss of 2022.
The Fire went down 34-14 to St. Thomas on the road. Starting quarterback Kaylan Wiggins tossed the pigskin for 97 yards and rushed for two scores.
Head coach Adam Waugh said there was no excuse for his football team to play the way they did.
“Ultimately, you have to go out and play the game no matter what the circumstances are,” Waugh said. “They are a good football team. They were prepared to play and they were ready and the good thing is we’ll see them again at the end of the year.”
St. Thomas prepared all year to be one of the top-25 teams heading into the game last weekend. In fact, the Bobcats were the No. 22 team in the nation facing Southeastern, the-then No. 21 team. But St. Thomas just wanted it more early.
Scoring started for the Bobcats thanks to a first-down run of 71 yards to the house. Then running back Rontavious Farmer added a one-yard touchdown with 10:28 to go in the second to put St. Thomas up 14-0.
Defensively, freshman Gabriel Herrera forced a fumble, which led to quarterback Tyler Thomas hooking up with wide receiver C’quan Jnopierre for a 25-yard touchdown. This put the score to 24-0 St. Thomas.
Southeastern finally scored in the second half thanks to a Wiggins run for a 67-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the third, as well as a 59-yard touchdown run with 11:20 to go in the fourth.
“We challenged our guys to play the second half like it was 0-0,” Waugh said. “We tried to execute our game plan like we intended to and got some stops and got some points on the board and it was encouraging.”
But St. Thomas responded with Farmer’s third touchdown of the game — a 6-yard touchdown with 7:33 to go in the game, which opened the game up to 31-14 St. Thomas.
On the defensive side of the football, linebacker Marc Viechec led the defense with 10 tackles, including two for loss.
Up next, Southeastern (4-1) will play Webber (2-1) 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Victory Field.
Webber (2-1) won its last game in a forfeit vs. the University of Fort Lauderdale last weekend.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: college football