HAMMOND, La. -- Southeastern Louisiana rallied from a 31-14 halftime deficit to stun Villanova 45-44 in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday, setting up a second-round game at Montana.
Trailing 31-14, the Lions scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the game at 31-31 going to the fourth. The teams traded scores over the final 15 minutes, but a failed Villanova point-after attempt proved to be the difference.
SE Louisiana quarterback Chason Virgil completed 36 of 49 passes for a career-high 474 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-tying score to CJ Turner with 2:56 remaining in the game. The successful PAT from Bryce Broussard gave the Lions the one-point win.
Turner finished with 173 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches. Bransen Schwebel and Javon Connor also surpassed 100 receiving yards in the win. Devonte Williams added 78 yards and touchdown on the ground.
The Lions (8-4) average 37.3 points and 484.5 yards per game. Virgil has 3,355 yards and 21 TDs on the season, while Williams has added 565 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively, Alexis Ramos leads the team with 74 total tackles. The Lions have recorded 43 sacks as a team with Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund (7.5), Ramos (6), Joshua Carr Jr. (6) and Ronald Cherry III (5.5) leading the charge.
The Grizzlies (9-3) and Lions will kick off at 1 p.m. on Dec. 7. The game will be exclusively broadcast on ESPN3.