Lumberjack football to host just 4 home games in 2019

Lumberjack football to host just 4 home games in 2019
(Source: KTRE Sports)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -SFA Lumerjack fans will get only four chances to see the first year of Colby Carthel’s SFA career inside Homer Bryce Stadium.

The team announced their 2019 schedule on Wednesday and there is only four home games. The team wil play their 94th Battle of The Pineywoods against rival Sam Houston down in Houston and they will be considered the home team in that game as well. That means there will be 6 true road games, minus the four home and one neutral site game.

Full SFA release:

The SFA football program announced its complete 2019 schedule Wednesday as the Lumberjacks are set to face 12 opponents next fall for the first time since 2014.

Colby Carthel, who was introduced as SFA’s 20th head coach Dec. 4, will face a challenging but unique slate of games in 2019. The 'Jacks will take on six opponents who hail from the Lone Star State next season, while playing four Louisiana teams, Southern Utah and Central Arkansas. SFA’s schedule will feature four home games with the 'Jacks also serving as the home team in the 94th Battle of the Piney Woods, while making two non-conference trips for the first time since 2013.

“We’re excited about the upcoming 2019 season and the chance to build on the momentum we’ve created this offseason,” head coach Colby Carthel commented about the upcoming fall. The non-conference slate presents some tremendous opportunities to start the 2019 campaign."

The strenuous 2019 schedule is comprised of five teams who made the postseason this past fall - Baylor, Tarleton State, Nicholls, Lamar, The University of the Incarnate Word - with four of SFA’s first five opponents having made either the playoffs or a bowl game in 2018.

Opening the season at Baylor on Aug. 31 for their annual matchup against an FBS opponent, the 'Jacks will journey to Waco for the first time since 2011 to face the Bears for the fifth time in program history. SFA’s home opener inside Homer Bryce Stadium will take place on Sept. 7 against NCAA Division II Tarleton State after last season’s home opener versus the Texans was canceled following numerous lighting delays.

“Coach Matt Rhule has the Baylor Bears poised to be Big 12 Conference contenders again,” continued coach Carthel. “The opener will be a chance to compete with one of the better FBS programs in Texas.”

After hosting Southern Utah in 2017, the 'Jacks will return the favor in 2019 with a Sept. 14 trip to Cedar City, Utah, taking on the Thunderbirds for the sixth time overall. The game will mark SFA’s first trip to the Beehive State since 2013 as the 'Jacks plays Southern Utah on the road for the first time since 2005.

“Willie Nelson’s ‘On the Road Again’ might have to be our theme song this fall as eight of our 12 contests will be played away from friendly confines of Homer Bryce Stadium,” coach Carthel added. “Therefore, we will have to be prepared to travel and play well on the road in 2019. The Southland Conference schedule will be tough as usual, including a stretch of five weeks without a true ‘home’ game. Our players and coaches are excited to compete against the best as we work to build SFA football into a championship program.”

The following weekend, Sept. 21, SFA will open up Southland Conference play with a home tilt against defending league champion Nicholls. It will be the 19th time the 'Jacks have hosted the Colonels. SFA will once again be challenged with a FCS playoff team from a year ago when the 'Jacks head to Beaumont Sept. 28 for the two team’s third consecutive meeting.

Historic rival Sam Houston State awaits SFA the next weekend for the 94th Battle of the Piney Woods, which will take place Oct. 5 inside NRG Stadium in Houston with the ‘Jacks serving as the home team. For the 11th time the rivalry game will be held at a neutral site as it will mark the 10-year anniversary of the game being played in the Bayou City.

The weekend of Oct. 12 will serve as the Lumberjacks’ bye week before remaining away from home with a visit to Abilene Christian Saturday, Oct. 19. SFA will be seeking its fourth-straight victory over the Wildcats when the ‘Jacks make their 10th trip to ACU. After over a month away from the friendly confines of Homer Bryce Stadium, SFA will return to Texas’ oldest town for homecoming 2019. The 'Jacks will welcome McNeese Oct. 26 as the Cowboys make their 20th visit to Nacogdoches.

To begin the month of November, SFA will venture to Hammond, Louisiana, for its first trip to the Pelican State of the year, taking on Southeastern Louisiana Nov. 2 inside Strawberry Stadium. The 'Jacks will be facing the Lions for the first time in three years with SFA’s last journey to Hammond taking place in 2015. The following weekend, SFA will close out the home portion of the regular season by hosting UIW Nov. 9 inside Homer Bryce Stadium for senior day. The 'Jacks will wrap up the regular season with a pair of road trips, heading to the Natural State to face Central Arkansas Nov. 16 and making their way to Louisiana for the second time of the season on Thursday, Nov. 21 for the 54th Battle for Chief Caddo.

SFA will be traveling to Conway, Arkansas, to take on the Bears for the seventh time in program history, before going to Natchitoches, Louisiana, to close out the regular season with its second consecutive Thursday night game against border rival Northwestern State.

Carthel, a national champion who boasts a .766 winning percentage as a head coach, enters his first season at the helm of Lumberjack football after leading Division II Texas A&M-Commerce to unprecedented success the previous six seasons. His Lions captured the 2017 NCAA Division II Football National Championship in Carthel’s fifth year as he posted an 59-18 overall record at A&M-Commerce, including a an impressive 36-8 (.818) conference mark. In addition to three Lone Star Conference championships, Carthel guided the Lions to six consecutive postseason appearances and four-straight NCAA playoff appearances, including 10-win seasons in each of his last three years in Commerce. Early access for season ticket renewals will be available to current season ticket holders at the Spring Game in the north end zone area. Regular season ticket renewals will be available for purchase beginning Monday, April 29 through current Paciolan accounts or by calling the ticket office at 936-468-JACK. For further information on SFA football season tickets or any additional questions, please visit the official home of SFA tickets at SFATickets.com or call the ticket office at 936-468-JACK.

Copyright 2019 KTRE. All rights reserved.