Lions Shut Out by #4 Northwest Missouri
RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:
Maryville, Mo. — The Missouri Southern football team fell victim to two big plays from Northwest Missouri State’s Shawn Bane and the fourth-ranked Bearcats defeated the Lions 63-0 today inside Bearcat Stadium/Tjeerdsma Field.
The Lions (0-3, 0-3 MIAA) were led by quarterback Sean Kelly who went 13-for-24 with 130 yards through the air. Aaron Willis caught two passes for 59 yards, while Caleb Batie caught four passes out of the backfield for 32 yards. Dalton James rushed ten times for 27 yards, while both Coleman Scott and LeEarl Patterson went 1-for-3 passing in spot time under center.
Riley Hathorn had ten punts for 389 yards and an average of 38.9, including a long of 53 yards and one touchback. Defensively, Akel Beard, Paul Williams, Desmond Payton, Diontez Champion and Deshon Cowling all had five tackles each. Cowling had a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and an interception, while John Ejizu had a pass break up.
Northwest (3-0, 3-0 MIAA) got a big game from Bane as the receiver caught two passes for 90 yards (long of 75), while also returning two punts for 103 yards and an 88-yard return for a score. Braden Wright went 15-for-22 for 267 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Alec Tatum had five catches for 87 yards, while Josh Caldwell had 13 carries for 78 yards and two scores.
The Bearcats got on the board first with a seven-yard rushing score from Caldwell with 7:28 left in the first.
Southern threatened on the very next drive. A pass from Kelly to Willis was incomplete in what looked like a sure touchdown, but the Lions regrouped and marched down inside the Bearcat 20-yard line. A pass from Kelly to Batie for eight yards started the movement, while James rushed three times for 17 yards to get inside the 20. A rush from Kelly got to the 11, but two straight negative yardage plays gave the ball back to the Bearcats on their own 25-yard line.
Northwest wasted little time and Wright hooked up with Bane for a 75-yard pass and score to put Northwest up 14-0 with 2:51 left on the clock.
The Bearcats pushed the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter, but a fumble recovery by Trevor Plafcanset the Lions up in good field position. A four-and-out by the Lions put the defense back on the field. Northwest added two more touchdowns before the break and led 35-0 at the half.
Both teams picked off passes on ensuing possessions to start the second half with Cowling picking up the INT for the Lions.
A week after seeing the rushing game dominate the offense for the Lions, the passing game was what provided most of the yardage for the Lions this week. The Lions had 149 of their 189 yards through the air. Time of possession was in the favor of the Bearcats buy just three minutes. Southern went 4-of-17 on third down conversions and 1-of-3 on fourth down tries.
Southern will be back in action next week as the Lions will play host to No. 17 Fort Hays State. Kickoff from Fred G. Hughes Stadium inside the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex is slated for 6 pm.