Tough spirited Lions seek homecoming victory


Sierra Gray | The Chart

Junior wide receiver Chad Nolan returning a kickoff against the Univsersity of Central Oklahoma in the Pink Game on Oct. 10, 2015 inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium. In the game, Nolan caught two passes for 82 yards. The Lions would lose the game 55-21. Southern has lost to UCO for back-to-back seasons.

The Missouri Southern football team was looking to avoid a four game losing skid against Northeastern State (Okla.) inside Doc Wadley Stadium last weekend. Southern last lost four straight games back in 2010. Southern has given up back-to-back 50+ point performances, being outscored a total of 109-31.

“Our team is in some struggles after coming off two troubling loses,” said head coach Denver Johnson said before the game. “These kids, they want to play, they want to compete, and they want to win games. We certainly do as coaches so we’re all working towards the same thing.”

Getting off to slow starts has hindered the Lions as they’ve allowed the opponent to score first in five of their six games. In their last three games, the Lions have given up 28 first quarter points.

NSU extended that streak as the Riverhawks got on the board first with a touchdown in the first quarter. The Lions would answer back in the second quarter with a touchdown run from running back Will Gregory to tie the game up. NSU would score another touchdown before the half, taking a 14-7 lead into the break.

NSU drew first blood in the second half with a 97-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Southern answered right back with a 10-play scoring drive capped off by a eight yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Terrell Crawford. The Lions trailed 21-14 with 7:22 left in the third quarter.

NSU would put the game out of reach with another touchdown in the third quarter. They would add a field goal for insurance and the Lions would fall 31-21.

The Lions (1-6, 1-6 MIAA) were led offensively by Gregory as he had 142 yards on the ground with a score. Kyle Keller went 11-27 through the air for 172 yards and a touchdown. Crawford caught five passes for 98 yards.

Defensively, Kyjuan Tate led the Lions with 10 tackles and a sack. David Smith recorded a sack as well, as the Lions had five total tackles for loss in the game.

Southern will be back in action tomorrow as the Lions host Lindenwood for Homecoming 2015. Kickoff from Fred G. Hughes Stadium is slated for 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised as part of the MIAA TV Package also.

“Next week is big game. It’s always circled on our calenders but we don’t overlook anybody in this conference,” said senior linebacker Justin Tomlinson. “For the school and for the fans I know everyone enjoys homecoming and its atmosphere so it’s always a good time to show out for them.”

“This is a game we really want to win,” said senior running back Joseph Henderson.”