The MissouriSouthern football team scored 35 points in the first half, en route to a 52-38win over Central Oklahoma in the season-opener for both teams tonight at FredG. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex.
The Lions(1-0, 1-0 MIAA) racked up 241 yards rushing and 232 yards passing in the game.It's the most points scored in a game for Southern since the Lions scored 68 ina win over Southwest Baptist on 10/22/11.
UCO (0-1, 0-1MIAA) out-gained the Lions 511-473 in the game as quarterback Adrian Nelsonthrew for 328 yards and a touchdown. Running back Josh Birmingham picked up 169yards and four touchdowns in the game.
Southernstarted the scoring as the Lions picked up a pair of rushing touchdowns ontheir first two possessions. JayMcDowell ran for a 15-yard score that capped off a 10-play, 63 yard scoringdrive and JJJones picked up a two-yard score of his own.
CentralOklahoma added a score on Birmingham's first rushing touchdown, before MichaelNelson and McDowell hooked up for a 61-yard pass and catch to give theLions a 21-7 lead after the first quarter.
Four minutesinto the second quarter, GiresseForchu scored on a 49-yard pass from McDowell to make the score 28-7.Birmingham would score touchdown No. 2 before McDowell added a five-yard scoreto make the halftime tally 35-14.
The Bronchospicked up a 32-yard field goal from Seth Hiddink to open the third quarter.Forchu added his second score of the game, an 18-yarder to make the score42-24, Lions. UCO would add three more scores, but it wouldn't be enough.
McDowellbecame the first Lions' quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards and pass forat least 200 yards since Josh Chapman racked up 246 yards in the air and on theground on 11/16/02 against Missouri S&T. McDowell finished with 121 yardson the ground and went 10-11 in the air for 232 yards and two scores. The 232yards is the most in the air for a Lions' quarterback since Collin Howard threwfor 245 against Pittsburg State on 11/12/11.
Forchu caughtthree passes for 107 yards and a score, while Nelson had 78 yards on tworeceptions with a score of his own. ChrisBarnwell had 66 yards on 11 carries and a score, while Forchu and Jones hada score rushing each. SeanSeefeldt connected on his only field goal attempt from 29 yards and wasperfect on point afters.
Defensively, JasonBrown led the Lions with nine stops, while DemonHaire had seven tackles and one pass break up. DalvinTaylor had six stops and a sack, while PacoVarol had five tackles and a fumble recovery. MichaelBurks picked up an interception, while AnthonyWestfield had a sack.
Southern willbe back in action next Saturday, September 14, when the Lions travel toNortheastern State for a 2:37 pm kickoff against the RiverHawks. The game willbe televised as part of the MIAA-TV package.
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