SHAWNEE — With the exception of a few archived statistics from back in the day, just about everything Oklahoma Baptist did Saturday was a school best.
Or, in some cases, a school worst.
Southwestern (Kan.) turned five of six turnovers into 19 points and beat the Bison 26-22 in OBU's first varsity football game in 73 years. A standing-room-only crowd of 5,609 at Hurt Field grilled under an afternoon sun and saw OBU almost pull off its first win in football since the end of the 1940 season.
But Chris Mayer had field goals of 27, 20, 19 and 26 yards. And Southwestern quarterback Tyler Crandall added a 2-yard touchdown run as the Moundbuilders from Winfield, Kan., recovered from a 15-0 deficit.
“I haven't had the opportunity to process it all yet, but our guys' effort was phenomenal,” OBU coach Chris Jensen said. “Our guys were put into some tough situations, their backs were against the wall. But they made some critical plays when we needed them.”
The crowd had barely sat down from the pregame ceremony — which included the introduction of Luke Toyebo, a running back from the 1940 team — when OBU scored on its first and third offensive snaps. Quarterback Cale Grauer found Derek Serowski behind the secondary both times for 69- and 19-yard touchdowns.
“We wanted to come out and set the tone, and we got in a situation we wanted to be in to start the game,” said Grauer, a sophomore from Claremore who transferred from Division II Missouri Western. “Derek, with his speed, he was able to get open and get us a couple of touchdowns.”