Resilient Lions pull away from Bronchos late.


Courtesy of MSSU Athletics

UCO linebacker Chase Faber (left) attempts to tackle MSSU quarterback Dawson Herl (right)

Trevor Batson

Saturday at Fred G. Hughes Stadium in Joplin, the 1-1 Missouri Southern Lions took on the 1-1 Central Oklahoma Bronchos.

Ezekiel Lang had two first-half receiving touchdowns for the Lions. Both were nine-yard passes from Dawson Herl.

“He’s (Lang) becoming that guy he is such a complete player you will see him pancaking defensive backs and flying down the field on special teams and making big catches, and for a receiver to do that is super impressive,” head coach Atiba Bradley said.

The Lions would go into half leading the Bronchos by a score of 17-7 after both offensives would slow down in the first half.

“That first half it was a battle of field position, the defense kept making stops,” wide receiver Jaedon Stoshak said.

Trailing 26-14 in the fourth quarter the Bronchos would put together a fourteen play eighty-five yard drive to make the score 26-21 with 8:16 left in the game after the Quevedo extra point. Making it a one score game.

“We understand that when you play in a quality conference and when you play good teams they are going to have success we aren’t going to go in and just dominate people. So they made their plays and we just know we need to answer,” Bradley said.

The Lions would do just that the responded with a 42 yard touchdown pass from Herl to Stoshak with 5:23 left in the game to make the score 33-21 after the Williams extra point.

“I saw pressure and I also saw that it was going to be man across the board. And I was going to go to my old reliable target Stoshak. I have a lot of confidence in him and he has a lot of confidence in me,” quarterback Dawson Herl said.

The Lions would score once more on a 16 yard quarterback keeper by Herl which would be his fifth touchdown of the game three through the air and two on the ground

“He (Herl) didn’t like his performance week 1 and has been dedicated to make sure it never happens again and you can see it in his preparation throughout the week and you see it Saturdays on the field.” Bradley said of Herl’s growth since the season has began.

The Lions would finish the game with 392 total yards of offense with 197 coming through the air on 16-26 passing and 195 yards on the ground on 45 carries.

“Our whole offensive line really played their butts off today, we had our whole offensive playbook available to us just because of how well they played up front,” Herl said.

Next Saturday at 7 p.m. the 2-1 Missouri Southern Lions will be on the road taking on the 1-2 Fort Hays State Tigers.

“Our guys are super resilient,” Bradley said. “They don’t flinch in the face of adversity.”