JOPLIN -- The Missouri Southern offense scored 27 points in the second quarter and the defense held Truman scoreless for nearly 43 minutes as the Lions scored 34 unanswered points in a 34-10 win over Truman in the John Ware Memorial Classic today at Hughes Stadium.
Southern (6-4, 5-4 MIAA) secures a winning season with the win, the second for the Lions in the last 17 years.
Truman (4-6, 3-6 MIAA) scored the game's first ten points, but after securing 82 yards in the first quarter, the Bulldogs managed just 133 yards in the final three quarters.
Things got started for the Lions when Ne'Ronte Threatt ripped off a 73-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive to get the Lions on the board with 12:28 in the second quarter. Kellen Cox added a 21-yard run for a score to cap off a nine-play, 80 yard drive and put the Lions on top 13-10.
Southern added two more rushing touchdowns in the second quarter, four-yarder's each from Threatt and Cox to go in the locker room up 27-10.
A six-yard run from Giresse Forchu with 4:55 in the third quarter capped a 13-play, 93 yard drive and would be the final tally of the game.
Threatt led the Lions with a career day. He had 172 yards on the ground on 14 carries, including two touchdowns. Cox had 106 on the ground and two scores, while throwing for 40 yards on 3-4.
Defensively, the Lions shined. After giving up ten points in the first 17 minutes of the game, Southern held Truman scoreless for the final 43. The Lions were led by Brian Rodgers with nine tackles, one for a loss and a fumble recovery. Aaron Hall and Gatlin Ridgway both had eight tackles, while Brandon Williams had five stops, a forced fumble and a sack to add to his school-record 25. He also had four quarterback hurries.
The Lions had 409 yards on the ground, the second time the team has eclipsed the 400 yard mark on the ground this season. Southern held the ball for 39 minutes compared to the Bulldogs' 16, and held Truman to just 215 yards of offense.
The Lions will finish the regular season next week with the Sonic Miners Bowl against Pitt State. The game will be senior day and will kickoff at 2 pm from Fred G. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex.