Lions set tone in conference play with win at Rolla

Lions roared and Miners fell as Missouri Southern defeated University of Missouri-Rolla.

Missouri Southern yielded its fifth-best offensive game in history Sept. 11, recording a 51-21 drubbing of Miners at Allgood-Bailey Stadium to open up MIAA conference play.

The Lions’ offense accounted for 594 yards under the direction of freshman quarterback Nathan Emert and dominated in time of possession, chewing up 40:48 minutes of game clock, compared to only 19:12 for the Miners.

The Lions are now 1-0 in conference play and 2-1 for the season. Lions’ head coach John Ware said he hopes the win will set the tone for the remainder of the conference schedule.

“I thought it was very important for us to open up conference play with a win,” Ware said. “Rolla hasn’t won the conference in a while, and they were hungry for a win, so it was important that we set the tone by winning that first conference game.”

Sophomore running back Wentric Williams established the Lions’ running attack by accumulating 187 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Williams recorded a 1-yard run for the game’s opening score with 7:33 left in the first quarter and helped the Lions pull away with a 20-yard touchdown run with 6:21 left in the third quarter.

Emert completed 31 of 42 passes for 347 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, adding one rushing touchdown and four rushing yards. He also found senior wide receiver Craig Winfrey for three touchdowns and connected once with senior wideout DeMarcus Mathes for a score late in the first half.

Emert recorded the game’s only fourth-quarter points when he scampered seven yards to paydirt with 11:55 left in the game.

Mathes led all Lions’ receivers with eight catches for 152 yards and Winfrey had eight catches for 78 yards. Junior wideout Tyson Basore snagged eight catches for 69 yards.

Sophomore Brandon Hawkins kicked a 27-yard field goal to close out the first half and was five for six on extra points.

Junior wide receiver Dustin Bromley, who recorded a 21-yard catch, left the game with an ankle sprain.

The Lions continue conference play 6 p.m. Saturday when they host the Central Missouri State University Mules.