Lions travel to Fort Hays for tumble with the Tigers

Press Release MSSU:

The Missouri Southern football team travels to Hays, Kan. this weekend to take on the Tigers of Fort Hays State and the Lions look to get back to .500. Kickoff from Lewis Field Stadium is slated for 2 pm.

Game Information

Team Records: MSSU – 4-5, 4-5 MIAA | FHSU – 5-4, 5-4 MIAAA
Date: Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
Kick-Off: 2:00 p.m., CT
Location: Hays, Kan.
Site: Lewis Field Stadium (6,232)
Series Record: Southern leads 13-11-1
Coaches: Daryl Daye (17-13 at MSSU, 33-51 overall) | Chris Brown (20-22 at FHSU and overall)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio : FM 99.7 Real American Country – Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Aaron Lewis, Color
Video Webcast:
Live Stats:
Lions on Facebook:
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball

The Coaches : Daryl Daye is in his third season as the head coach at Missouri Southern. In his second season at the helm of the Lions, Daye lifted the program to a level unseen in the past 20 years. The Lions finished the season 7-3 overall and were 5-3 in the MIAA. Southern also broke a 20-year drought with a 35-21 win at No. 9 Pittsburg State in the season-finale. The Lions won for the first time in Pittsburg since 1983 and for the first time against the Gorillas since 1993. Nine Lions were named All-MIAA, and 11 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. The Lions’ Chris Barnwell and Gatlin Ridgway were named All-Region with Barnwell earning All-American honors. Giresse Forchu was an Academic All-District selection and the Lions ended the 2013 campaign as Division II’s leader in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 35:14 each game. Southern also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost.

Chris Brown enters his fourth season as head coach of Fort Hays State. Brown came to Fort Hays State from Washburn University, where he served as the defensive coordinator and coach from 2002-2010 and assistant head coach in 2010. He has a career record of 20-22, all at FHSU. Brown helped Washburn compile a 62-41 record in his nine-year span with the program, which included two NCAA playoff appearances and two bowl wins. In his time at Washburn as defensive coordinator, Brown coached the 2009 and 2006 MIAA Most Valuable Defensive Players. As DC, he guided two players selected in the NFL Draft (defensive tackle Trey Lewis-6th round 2007, and cornerback Cary Williams-7th round 2008), six All-Americans, 20 all-region, and 41 All-MIAA selections at Washburn. His defense led the MIAA three of the last four seasons in turnovers gained, including a school record-tying 23 interceptions in 2007.

The Series: Missouri Southern holds the all-time series with an overall record of 13-11-1. The Lions have a 6-5 record at Hughes Stadium and are 7-6-1 at Lewis Field in Hays. The two teams renewed their series in 2006 for the first time since 1988, with the Tigers snapping a season-long losing streak with a 10-0 win over Southern. Prior to that, the last time for the two to meet was when both schools were a member of the NAIA Central States Intercollegiate Conference. Southern won that game 21-10. Southern has won nine of the last 12 games against the Tigers, dating back to the 1983 season.

A Victory vs. Fort Hays State Would: be the tenth time in the last 13 games against Fort Hays. The Lions need to win the last two games of the season to secure a winning season.

NFL Representation : The Lions will be one of just two MIAA teams (Washburn) to have two different starters on NFL rosters to start the season. Brandon Williams is a starter on the defensive line for the Baltimore Ravens, while Allen Barbre started on the offensive line for the Philadelphia Eagles, but suffered an ankle injury in game one and will be out for the 2014 season.

2014 NCAA Stat Leaders: After nine games, the Lions currently lead Division II in fewest blocked punts. The team ranks second in passing yards per completion, while ranking ninth in rushing and tenth in time of possession. Southern ranks 17th in both sacks allowed and passes intercepted, while ranking 18th in passes had intercepted and 22nd in third down conversion percentage. The team also ranks 25th in red zone offense.

MIAA Stats Leaders: The Lions currently lead the MIAA in blocked kicks and punts allowed, as well as rushing, sacks allowed, and passing yards per completion. The Lions rank second in third down conversion percentage, red zone offense, passes had intercepted, and team passing efficiency, while ranking third in kickoff return defense, passes intercepted and punt returns. They rank fourth in punting, sacks and scoring.

National Rankings: Giresse Forchu ranks 18th in rushing touchdowns, while Kyle Jaski ranks tenth in punting and Ty’Quan Hayes ranks 28th in punt returns.

MIAA Individual Rankings: Forchu leads the MIAA in rushing touchdowns, while ranking third in scoring. Jaski leads the MIAA in punting, while Hayes leads the league in combined kick returns and is second in punt returns.

Rushing It: The Lions are ranked 9th nationally in rushing and lead the MIAA after nine games. The Lions are averaging 281.0 yards rushing and have 32 rushing touchdowns going into week eight.

Multiple Touchdown Games: Giresse Forchu had three rushing touchdowns against Central Missouri. He has four multiple touchdown games this year and has 12 rushing scores through nine games.

Spread the Wealth: The Lions have seven different players with rushing touchdowns this year, led by Forchu’s 12. Shannon Saunders has six, while Michael Nelson and Scott Lathrop have five and four, respectively. Chris Barnwell and Will Gregory have two each and Chris Jeffries has one.

Big Game Saunders: Freshman Shannon Saunders had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in the Lions 34-7 win at home over Northeastern State.

First Time For Everything: The Lions’ game with Pittsburg State this year saw a few firsts that the fans hadn’t seen in some time. For the first time in the Daye era, the Lions threw for more yards than they rushed for. The team was also held without a rushing touchdown for the first time since September of 2012 at UCM. The Lions also threw for more than 200 yards for the first time since the opener in 2013. It was also the first time the Lions had been held under 100 yards rushing since the final game of the 2010 season.

Sack Em Up: Senior defensive lineman Ryon Phillips had two sacks against No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri. The two gave him 14 on his career, ranking him fifth all-time in MSSU history.

Team Captains: The Missouri Southern coaching staff and team have voted in four captains for the 2014 season. Seniors Austin Wolfe, Ryon Phillips and Dalvin Taylor, along with junior Jay McDowell will serve as team captains this year.

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Pittsburg State is 6th, followed by Northwest Missouri at No. 7. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has nine teams in the top 25. There are 13 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region.

Climbing The Charts: With his team’s 34-7 win over Northeastern State, head coach Daryl Daye moved into fourth-place overall in all-time wins at MSSU, passing Bill Cooke. He is currently second in overall win percentage.

Pass It Long: The Lions don’t throw the ball often, but when they do it tends to be effective. Southern has six pass plays of 50 or more yards this year with a long of 80.

Weather Report: The weather report for the Hays area on Saturday calls for a high of 57 degrees with mostly sunny conditions. There is a zero percent chance of rain with winds expected to be out of the NNW at 25 MPH.

Next Up: Missouri Southern will finish off the regular season with Senior Day at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. The Lions will face off with Missouri Western at 1 pm on Nov. 15.