Terian Goree

Terian Goree (SFA Athletics)

NACOGDOCHES – Coming out of high school as a heralded player, Terian Goree was a long way from being a Stephen F. Austin football player.

He chose North Texas among a long list of schools that included Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech and Memphis, just to name a few.

But against McNeese State, in the rain in Louisiana, it was Goree who led the offense with 11 receptions for 66 yards in SFA’s 17-10 loss to the Cowboys last weekend.

From Carthage, the receiver has found another football home.

He’s in his second season with SFA after coming to Nacogdoches after falling out of favor with the North Texas program.

“I caught 50 balls there, but I got in trouble and got released from the program,” the player said. “I’m just thankful to have this opportunity. It’s all good.”

Goree’s 25 catches for 216 yards lead the Lumberjacks’ receivers. He caught 43 passes for 339 yards as a junior last season.

Goree said it was nice to see the football thrown his way against McNeese. One of the catches was a five-yard scoring play, SFA’s lone touchdown of the contest.

“I just had the opportunity to make plays on the ball,” the receiver said. “Just thankful for the opportunity.”

SFA (1-3, 1-2 in the Southland) will try to turn around its early season fortunes when it plays Sam Houston (2-2, 1-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston in the Battle of the Piney Woods.

Sam Houston is coming off a 34-31 overtime win last weekend against Central Arkansas, last season’s league champions.

SFA interim head coach Jeff Byrd said it’s no accident that Goree had a big game.

“He is a football player,” the coach said. “What he did he does in practice every day. His effort, his attitude – everything. He does what he is supposed to do. When you do your job, the ball will find you.”

Goree (6-1, 175) was an easy find out of Carthage High School, where he helped lead the Bulldogs to a state title over Kilgore his senior season. Carthage’s only loss that year was to Whitehouse, which was led by Patrick Mahomes, now the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Goree was a package deal when he headed to North Texas, along with fellow Carthage receiver and friend Okeeron Rutherford.

Goree caught 89 passes for 1,744 yards with 28 touchdowns as a high school senior.

In three seasons and 21 starts at North Texas, he caught 51 passes for 446 yards with three scores.

He ended up landing at SFA, a struggling Southland Conference program.

SFA is trying to avoid a fourth straight losing campaign. Since the 2010 season that saw them win their second straight league title, the program has had just two winning seasons.

On a personal note, the Lumberjacks have dropped seven straight games to rival Sam Houston.

This is Goree’s second and final shot at the orange-clad Bearkats.

“This is the biggest game, besides Texas-Oklahoma,” Goree said. “Last year, I was hurt for Sam Houston and played just one play, the last play of the game. This is a big game. We’re trying to get them for our school and the environment here.”

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