Off to a running start

Off to a running start

Off to a running start

Russ Hagerman

function openSlideShow1087(){ + 1087,’selectUser’,config=’scrollbars=No,resizable=Yes’);}Click here to see football slideshowLions meowed in the first quarter only to roar back and beat Bacone College in the football season home opener.

Missouri Southern started a new football season with new coaches and a new look in front of 4,200 attending the game.

This game was the rematch from the season opener in 2003. In that game, Bacone upset the Lions 27-24, in Muskogee. On Aug. 26, the Lions repaid the favor in a 40-21 pasting of the Warriors. Questions asked during the off-season were answered in part by Nathan Emert, freshman quarterback who played at Shiloh Christian High School, Springdale, Ark. Last season, Emert had 30 completions out of 43 attempts for 344 yards and no interceptions. Emert was sacked once. He became the first true freshman to start the season at quarterback since 1989 when the Lions joined the NCAA Division II.

In all, Southern netted 509 offensive yards. Along with Emert’s passing yards, the Lions ran for 165 yards. Wentric Williams, sophomore runningback accounted for 67 yards. The lions showed they were ready to play the game. The fans noticed it also.

“They showed a lot of improvement, more formations and passes,” said Devin White, sophomore, kinesiology major. “They will probably win four or five games hopefully.”

The Lions look to the future with the younger players on the team with 47 true freshmen on the squad along with eight redshirt freshman. The younger players have four returning starters on offense with five on defense. The defense however, has been hurt by injuries. T.J. Onstott, senior outside linebacker and Joey Wagner, sophomore defensive end will miss the 2004 season. The Lions will be strong on defense with Atiba Bradley, junior linebacker and Dan Jefferson, senior linebacker will anchor the linebacking core.

“They look better than in the past, we have better coaches now,” Shawna Nelson, junior, business management, said.

The Lions will host Harding, University, Saturday at 6:00 PM.