Football prepares for MIAA

After two games of rotating the offense, the Missouri Southern football team will be switching to just one quarterback. And it is freshman Adam Hinspeter.

“It’s Adam as long as he’s productive,” said John Ware, head football coach.

Both Ware and offensive coordinator Keith Matheny said the decision was tough because they are replacing the record-setting sophomore quarterback Nathan Emert, but they said the decision was not so tough because Hinspeter has performed well in the first two games.

“Nathan was unbelievably classy,” Matheny said.

Matheny said he is proud of how Hinspeter has progressed in the past year.

“You’ve got to go with the guy that’s hot,” Matheny said. “I don’t think it’s not that Nathan hasn’t played well; it’s that Adam is extremely hot.”

Last week in Southern’s 45-27 loss to Harding University, Hinspeter rushed for one touchdown and threw for two more. He completed 19 of 21 passes for 249 yards.

Emert completed four of 14 for 43 yards with two interceptions.

On the receiving end, Colin Bado, sophomore wide receiver, caught five passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

Tedaryl Mason, senior wide receiver, caught four passes for 56 yards, and Travis Brown, junior wide receiver, also caught four passes for 42 yards.

Dartangan Johnson, junior running back, rushed 10 times for 34 yards.

Freshman cornerback Ricky Hughes returned a kickoff 100 yards early in the fourth quarter for a touchdown. This led to two more Southern scores in the fourth.

“We didn’t click like we should have until the fourth quarter,” Matheny said.

He said that was too little, too late.

Defensively, Atiba Bradley, senior linebacker, had nine tackles. Moses Manga, junior cornerback, and Blake Martin, senior strong safety, both had seven tackles in the HU game.

“It seems like you learn things a lot better when you lose,” said Scott Hazelton, co-defensive coordinator.

Hazelton said the Lions’ defense gave up too many yards on penalties to the Bison, and they are focusing now on tackling and not giving up yards after contact.

Saturday, the Lions open MIAA action at home against the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist University.

Ware said it is nice to be back home after two long road games.

“I’d be surely surprised if our guys didn’t come out ready to play,” he said.

“This is when the season really starts out for us,” said Matt Stout, sophomore tackle. “The way we’ve played so far is not up to par. We need to play more physical.”

SBU is under a new head coach this year and Ware said the Bearcats will be coming out with fire in their eyes.

“They’re a team that plays pretty hard,” Ware said.

Hazelton said SBU’s quarterback will challenge the Lions’ defense.

“He’ll throw the ball when he has to, but basically he’s a run threat,” Hazelton said.

The game will kick off at 6 p.m. in Hughes Stadium.

Fans wishing to help with hurricane relief efforts will be able to donate money at the gates and the concessions Saturday and during next week’s game against Pittsburg State University.