Southern heads to Northeastern State

The Lions will face the Riverhawks Saturday


The Missouri Southern football team will head out on the road as the Lions travel to Tahlequah to take on Northeastern State this Saturday. Kickoff from Doc Wadley Stadium is slated for 2 pm.

Game Information
Team Records: MSSU 1-6, 1-6 MIAA | NSU 0-7, 0-7 MIAA
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Kick-Off: 2:00 pm, CT
Location: Tahlequah, Okla.
Site: Doc Wadley Stadium (10,000)
Series Record: NSU leads the series 12-10
Coaches: Jeff Sims (1-6 at MSSU, 1-6 overall – first year as a 4-year head coach) | JJ Eckert (0-7 at NSU/Overall)

Media Coverage
MSSU Radio: Fox Sports Joplin 101.3, 101.7 and AM 1560; 88.7 FM KXMS – Mike McClure, Play-by-Play, Scott Boudreaux, Color
Video Webcast:
Live Stats:
Lions on Facebook:
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mosofootball
Lions on Instagram: @mososports

The Series: This will be the 24th meeting in the series between the two schools. Northeastern State leads the series 12-10, but the Lions have won ten of the last 16 games between the two teams. Northeastern State was the Lions’ first-ever opponent as a four-year school as NSU downed Southern 45-0 in 1968. The RiverHawks dominated the series early on, winning the first seven games in a row, but it has been mostly Southern over the last nine outings. The Lions are 4-7 in Tahlequah, while holding an 6-5 mark in Joplin with one game being vacated by the Lions in 1997. From 1989 to 1997, the Lions won nine games in a row in a stretch that included ten of 11, as well.

A Victory vs. The RiverHawks Would: be the second in a row over the RiverHawks. It would also be the 11th win in the last 17 tries over NSU.

NFL Representation: The Lions will have Brandon Williams as the lone MSSU alum in the NFL this season. Williams has blossomed into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL and in 2017 became one of the highest-paid, as well, signing a five-year, $54 million contract.

NFL Executive: Former Lion and former NFL wide receiver James Thrash is in his third season serving as the NFL and NFLPA’s Appeals Officer. He hears all appeals for the NFL regarding on-field player discipline. Thrash played 12 seasons in the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.

Lions On Radio: The Lions will partner with Fox Sports Joplin this year as Southern can now be heard on three separate FM stations, as well as an AM station. Fox Sports Joplin will air the Lions’ games on 101.3 and 101.7 FM, as well as AM 1560. MSSU’s KXMS 88.7 will also simulcast the games giving the Lions a larger reach in the four-states than they’ve ever had.

Tough League/Region: The MIAA has two teams in the coaches top 25 this week. Central Missouri is 11th, while Northwest Missouri is 14th. The Super Region Three, which the Lions are a part of, has three teams in the top ten and has eight teams in the top 25. There are 12 teams total that are either ranked or receiving votes in the poll from the region.

Lions On TV: Missouri Southern’s KGCS will air every Lions home game live this year during the season. They will also re-broadcast the games on Sunday evenings at 6 pm.

Lions On The Web: All of MSSU’s football games are carried live online as part of the MIAA Network. Fans can go to to view live and on-demand games.

Streaming Options: Fans now have even more options to view the Lions online in their homes and on the road. Not only can you view on your computer, fans can now view The MIAA Network on its over the top apps for either Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Android TV.

New Head Coach: Jeff Sims was announced as the new head coach for the Lions at the conclusion of the 2018 football season.

NFL Pedigree: In his career, Sims has coached more than 50 players to NFL careers, including two first-round NFL Draft picks, (Jason Pierre-Paul and Mike Hughes), well as NFL All-Pro Lavonte Davis. In total, seven players he has coached have been drafted. Two former players, Pierre-Paul and Jacquian Williams, both played for the New York Giants in a Super Bowl victory.

NCAA Team Stats Rankings: The Lions lead Division II passing offense, while ranking eighth in first downs, 14th in total offense and 32nd in blocked punts.

MIAA Team Stats Rankings: This year, the Lions lead the MIAA first downs and passing offense, while ranking second in total offense and blocked punts, third in blocked kicks and fourth in tackles for a loss.

Individual Stats Rankings: Jacob Park leads Division II in passing yards, while ranking second in passing yards per game and third in both completions per game and total offense. JaTece Wright ranks third nationally in punt return touchdowns, while Richard Jordan Jr. ranks 16th nationally in tackles. Park is 29th in passing yards per completion, while ranking 33rd in points responsible for. Paul Wolff is 41st in punting.

Record Setting Passer: Park broke his own school record against Central Missouri as he threw for 519 yards becoming the first Lion quarterback to throw for a half a thousand in a single game. He went 36-of-59 with four touchdowns in the game, helping the Lions set the team record for passing yards in a game with 519, as well. Park also tied the single-game completion record with 36, tying the mark held by TJ Fleeton in 2015 against Fort Hays State. Park’s total of 519 yards is also second-best total offense mark all-time in a single game at Southern. He also broke his attempt mark against Washburn with 66 passing attempts in the game.

Passing The Bar: Park leads Division II in passing yards this season with 2,498 yards through seven games. When compared with the other three divisions in the NCAA, Park is fourth amongst all NCAA passers, trailing only Anthony Gordon of Washington State, Bailey Zappe of Houston Baptist and Jake Maier of UC Davis.

Lawson With The Catch: Dwayne Lawson made the switch from quarterback to receiver rather nicely as the junior caught six passes for 179 yards and two scores. That included a 93-yard touchdown catch. The 179 yards is tied for fifth-best all-time in a single game at MSSU. Lawson now has three 100-plus yard games this season and has caught 24 passes for 465 yards this year.

Run, Sean, Run: Sean Kelly came into the game at Lincoln in the second half and ran for 126 yards (zero negative yardage) and two touchdowns.

Spread The Receptions: This season, the Lions have ten different 100-yard receiving games from five different individuals. Lawson has and Brian Boyd Jr. have three of them, while Benjamin Phillips has two. Brailon Mouton and Devond Blair, Jr. have one game each. The Lions have had two different games where three different individuals had 100 or more yards receiving.

Have A Game Charles: Charles West had a big game at Missouri Western where he had three rushing touchdowns, carrying the ball for 137 yards. He also caught ten passes for 92 yards, tying a Missouri Southern record for receptions in a game by a running back.

Hall of Fame: This weekend, former Missouri Southern head coach Jon Lantz was inducted into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame (posthumously). Lantz coached the Lions to the program’s only MIAA Title in 1993 when the team went 9-1-1.

Watch Party Headquarters: For those wanting to catch the Lions on the road, but not able to travel, Gusanos in Joplin will host the official road watch party each Saturday. Come by their location at 7th and Duquesne to check out all the action.

Defensive Lineage: Three former Lions’ defensive coaches, all whom current assistant coach Joe Bettasso learned under, are in high-profile positions. Scottie Hazelton (04-05) is the Defensive Coordinator at Kansas State, Brian Ward (2005) is the Defensive Coordinator at Syracuse and Todd Wash (2004) is the Defensive Coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL.

Weather Report: The weather report for the Tahlequah area on Saturday calls for showers with a high of 59 degrees. Chance of rain is listed at 50% with a northwest wind of 5 MPH.

Up Next: Southern will be back out on the road, heading to Central Oklahoma for a game on November 2 with the Bronchos.


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