Southern should begin preparing for next week’s opponent in Neb-Kearney

Second+year+head+coach+Denver+Johnson+is+1-13+in+14+games+at+Southern.+Southern%E2%80%99s+first+four+opponents+this+season+have+a+combined+record+of+9-3+%28all+four+are+in+the+top+5+in+the+conference+standings%29.+Southern+hasn%E2%80%99t+beaten+Northwest+Mo.+since+1994.+Since%2C+Northwest+has+averaged+44+ppg+in+the+last+21+matchups.

Sierra Gray

Second year head coach Denver Johnson is 1-13 in 14 games at Southern. Southern’s first four opponents this season have a combined record of 9-3 (all four are in the top 5 in the conference standings). Southern hasn’t beaten Northwest Mo. since 1994. Since, Northwest has averaged 44 ppg in the last 21 matchups.

Kelvin Duley II

Emporia State scored a touchdown on four of its first five possessions in the first quarter as the Missouri Southern State Lions suffered their third loss in as many games, 49-21 at Welch Stadium in Emporia, Kan. last Saturday afternoon.

The game was over before the first quarter ended. ESU scored 28 first quarter points, 14 of those points coming off two Southern turnovers. ESU scored a touchdown on their first three possessions, two in a 40 second span.

Southern finally got on the board in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown reception from senior wide receiver Terrell Crawford. ESU would add 14 more points before the break and take a 42- 7 lead into the half.

The Lions outscored ESU in the second half 14-7 to avoid losing by 35+ points for consecutive weeks. 

Junior quarterback TJ Fleeton started the game after being benched last week in the second quarter against Missouri Western. Fleeton completed 26 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Ben Evans, sophomore wide receiver from Kansas City, Mo., caught the second touchdown for 16-yards. It was Evan’s first reception and touchdown of his collegiate career. That was his only reception of the game. 

Freshman Ja’Kori Bell rushed for his first collegiate touchdown. Bell had 10 carries for 20 yards. Fleeton led Southern in rushing with 15 attempts for 102 yards.

On the defensive end, freshman linebacker Akel Beard led the Lions in tackles with eight, all solo. Senior Travelle Smith forced a fumble that was recovered by senior Chris Williams for the only forced turnover for the Lions on the day.

Southern last started a season 0-3 in 2008 when they lost their first four games. Through three games, the Lions have been outscored 122-45. That’s a 77-point differential. The 2008 team had been outscored by 69 points through three games.

 

Moments that mattered

Two turnovers in first three possessions: After punting the ball on their opening drive, Southern turned the ball over back-to-back possessions resulting in 14 ESU points. ESU held a 21-0 lead just nine minutes into the first quarter. 

Key stat

First half woes: Southern has given up 83 first half points to their opponents including 42 points to ESU. They’ve been outscored 83-16 in the first half.

Southern is back at Fred G. Hughes Stadium tomorrow night as they welcome the defending champions and No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri State to town.  

Before the season began I predicted the Lions’ to start the season 0-4. Given the current state of this team right now, internally and on the field, a win tomorrow night is far fetched. There has been rumblings coming out of the locker room that players want to see a coaching change. There’s been questions surrounding the team in regards to if some of the upperclassemen have given up on this season already. Things will not be getting better tomorrow night.

Kickoff is slated for 6 pm.