UND football: Southern Utah's Poots gets redemption
Last Saturday in Cedar City, Utah, Southern Utah wide receiver Tysson Poots and coach Ed Lamb felt Poots was robbed of a game-winning touchdown catch when a defender wasn't called for pass interference in the end zone in the waning moments of a c...
Last Saturday in Cedar City, Utah, Southern Utah wide receiver Tysson Poots and coach Ed Lamb felt Poots was robbed of a game-winning touchdown catch when a defender wasn't called for pass interference in the end zone in the waning moments of a close loss to Northern Arizona.
"We missed a few opportunities last week," Poots said. "That definitely fueled us today."
Beware a motivated Poots.
The senior wide receiver responded by torching UND for the third straight year as he caught 13 balls for 210 yards and a touchdown in Southern Utah's 31-21 victory Saturday at the Alerus Center.
"We've been close with every team," said Poots, whose team improved to 2-4, "but we haven't finished. We wanted to finish today. We were definitely motivated and it showed."
It's the third straight season that a big day from Poots has burned UND.
In Poots' career against the Sioux, he has totaled 340 yards on 26 catches with four touchdowns. He's caught touchdown passes in all three games -- all wins for the Thunderbirds.
"When a big game happens, it's not just me," Poots said. "It comes from the other players. I'm trying to do whatever possible to make our team go. Maybe (UND) didn't do enough to keep me under wraps. I just took advantage of those situations that our quarterback and coach put me in."
Poots said the Thunderbirds expected to throw the ball often against the Sioux, who gave up 413 yards through the air.
"We knew they were going to stack the box and try to stop the run," Poots said. "We felt we could take advantage of the way they play. Our receivers are smart enough, and we've all been through it before. We were able to catch them in some coverages."
Sadly for the Sioux defense, Poots' day could have been even bigger.
n One long touchdown pass was called back because of holding.
n On another play, after Poots had beaten a UND defender deep, SUU quarterback Brad Sorensen -- a BYU transfer -- under threw Poots, allowing the Sioux defender to catch up and knock the pass away.
n In the second half, Poots hauled in a pass in the corner of the end zone where officials ruled he didn't keep one foot in bounds.
"That's something that we count on from him," Lamb said. "To be as good of a team as we can be, he has to play like that. If he doesn't play like that, we're not the team we can be. He knows that. He set the bar high himself. I thought he was excellent today."
When UND trimmed the Southern Utah lead to 31-21 late in the fourth quarter, the Sioux attempted an onside kick.
UND senior Kris Ankenbauer batted the high-bouncing ball away from the initial pack of Thunderbirds and the rest of the Sioux chased after it.
Fittingly, though, Poots was there to haul it in.
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