Whitlow was 19 of 29 on the day and found Addison Bounds five times for 107 yards, including touchdown passes of 11 and 65 yards in the third quarter, the second of which put the Panthers (2-3, 2-0 Ohio Valley) up 27-7.
The Redhawks (2-4, 1-1) answered with a pair of scores - Dante Vandeven found Lewis Washington from 8 yards out, then scored on a 1-yard plunge - to trim the deficit to 27-21. Vandeven had 217 yards passing and 55 rushing.
But Whitlow capped a 10-play, 73-yard fourth-quarter drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Devin Church to make it a two-score game. Southeast Missouri came right back with Paul McRoberts' 8-yard touchdown reception to make it 33-28 with 5:30 left, but Vandeven's last-second Hail Mary attempt was knocked down. McRoberts had nine catches for 132 yards.