Lions prep for final test at ESU

Missouri Southern head coach Bart Tatum has a word with an official durning the Lions 14-13 home loss to Washburn Nov. 4. A special teams miscue kept the Lions from a last-second win in their final home game of 2006.

Mitsumasa Misaki

Missouri Southern head coach Bart Tatum has a word with an official durning the Lions’ 14-13 home loss to Washburn Nov. 4. A special teams miscue kept the Lions from a last-second win in their final home game of 2006.

Hobie Brown

The football Lions take to the road for the final game of the 2006 football campaign as they prepare to take on the Emporia State Hornets at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Jones Field in Welch Stadium.

“A lot of people feel like we may not have anything to play for, other than finishing up the season,” said head coach Bart Tatum. “We have a responsibility to finish.”

Last year’s match-up ended with the Lions coming out on the short end of a 22-21 final score. The Hornets look to finish their season with a win, since they are in the midst of a six-game loosing streak. The Lions also look for a win after dropping their last two games.

“ESU wants to win like we do, so it comes down to who wants it more,” said junior running back Freddie Colbert.

“They are a dangerous team, said senior linebacker Jake Long. “They have the 5th leading rusher in the conference and their offense is in the top 20 in the nation. We aren’t taking them lightly.”

The Lions want to put one more in the win column not just for the school, but also for the seniors.

“The emotions will be high for the seniors,” Long said.

“Some of these guys have been here for four or five years,” Colbert said.

“I just think that the way the game goes determines how we send off the seniors,” said freshman wide receiver Jonathon Terry.

The Lions saw their chance at a winning season slip away when a high snap on a field goal attempt cost them a chance to pull ahead of the Ichabods in the final seconds of the 14-13 loss Nov. 4 at Fred G. Hughes stadium.

“I was torn up after the game, because we played good enough to win,” Tatum said. We executed. We had a plan and the guys embraced the plan, but it just didn’t work out for us.”

Not to be lost is junior wide receiver Colin Bado set a new school record for career catches after a 12-reception game brought his total to 164 catches. The old record was held by current Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith, who had 158 catches during his tenure at Southern.

On the year, Bado has 86 catches for 903 yards with an average of 90.3 receiving yards per game.

Bado, a junior from McKinney, Texas, is following up a successful 2005 campaign in which he earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors for a 64-catch, 759-yard season. Bado found the end zone five times last year.