Lions football falls 40-14 at home to No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri

Press Release MSSU:

Missouri Southern junior running back Giresse Forchu scored two rushing touchdowns, but the Lions’ football team fell 40-14 tonight in the home opener against No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri in front of 6,247 fans at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

The Lions (0-2, 0-2 MIAA) rushed for 177 yards, but couldn’t get any yards in the air as Northwest (2-0, 2-0 MIAA) out-gained the Lions 383-177 on the evening.

Southern picked up a first down on the team’s first drive, but had to punt. A bad snap led to the ball being downed on the seven-yard line. Northwest took over and scored on a pass from Brady Bolles to Jacob Vollstedt to put the Bearcats up 7-0 with 10:05 left in the first.

The Lions tied the game up with 6:30 to go in the first when the defense came up with a turnover when Deon Price forced a fumble and recovered, giving Southern the ball deep inside Northwest territory. Forchu ran four times and picked up a one-yard score.

The Bearcats answered right back on their next possession, on another touchdown pass from Bolles, this time, 23 yards to TJ Shieber to put Northwest up 14-7 with 3:28 left in the first.

Northwest added another score with 11:38 left in the second quarter, but the extra point was blocked by Breon Matlock to keep the score 20-7. On the ensuing Lions’ possession, Southern orchestrated a nine-play, 60-yard drive and Forchu ran in from seven out to cut the lead to six at 20-14 with 5:49 left to go in the half.

The two teams traded possessions and Northwest took over with 2:35 left in the half and the Bearcats used an 11-play, 87-yard drive to go up 27-14 with just one second left on the clock as Bolles ran in from two-yards out.

The Bearcats added another score to start the second half as Phil Jackson wrapped up a 98-yard drive to put Northwest up 33-14. The rest of the third would remain scoreless and the Bearcats added one final score on anther Jackson rushing touchdown.

Michael Nelson rushed 14 times for 65 yards, while Forchu had 49 yards and two scores. Chris Barnwell ran the ball 11 times for 44 yards, while both Shannon Saunders and Jay McDowell rushed seven times each.

Defensively, Johnquavious McBride had ten stops, including two pass break ups. Dalvin Taylor had ten tackles, as well, while Price had the forced fumble and recovery. Ryon Phillips had two sacks on the night for 11 yards lost. The two sacks moves him into fifth-place all-time at Msisouri Southern with 14 career sacks.

As a team, the Lions had six tackles for a loss of 20 yards with five pass break ups a block and one quarterback hurry.

The Lions will be back at it next Saturday, traveling to Kearney, Neb. for a 3 pm start against the Lopers of Nebraska-Kearney.