Lions football looks to avoid 0-3 start to season


Sierra Gray | The Chart

The Missouri Southern defense lines up against the Emporia State offense in the season opener at Fred G. Hughes stadium Sept. 3, 2015. The Lions would fall to Emporia State for the second straight season opener, 38-20.

The Missouri Southern football team is looking to avoid a 0-3 start as they line up against Nebraska-Kearney tomorrow night in Fred G. Hughes stadium in the Hall of Fame game.

The Lions are coming off a 48-7 shellacking at the hands of No. 3 ranked Northwest Missouri State. The Lions would trail 20-0 at half. In the second half, the Lions would give up 28 more consecutive points, making the score 48-0 with 11:02 left in the fourth quarter.

The Lions finally got on the board late in the fourth when starting quarterback TJ Fleeton completed two big plays to Dakota Turner and Chad Nolan, putting the Lions inside the Bearcats’ 10-yard line. Junior running back Jay Hadley scored the lone touchdown for the Lions with a five-yard touchdown run to make the score 48-7, Northwest, with 3:18 left to play.

For the game, the Lions could only produce 155 yards of total offense (55 total yards in first half), while giving up 471 to the Bearcats. The Lions didn’t eclipse a hundred yards in either passing or rushing the ball. The Bearcats forced four Lion turnovers. Fleeton contributed with three interceptions in his first career start. He completed nine passes for 95 yards and three picks.

On defense, junior safety Johnquavious McBride led the way for the Lions. McBride accounted for eight tackles, seven solo, with one interception and fumble recovery. Kyjuan Tate had eight tackles and a forced fumble. The Lions had four tackles for a loss, including a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Saturday night the Lions will be looking to avoid a 0-3 start in a battle of the 0-2 teams. The Lions defeated the Lopers 34-17 last season in Cope Stadium.

MSSU will be inducting four individuals into the Athletics Hall of Fame tomorrow night. Former football standout Josh Chapman will headline the four inductees.

Come ready to roar at Fred G. Hughes Stadium tomorrow night at 6 p.m. sharp as the Lions host Neb.-Kearney. Weather at kickoff is expected to be 76 degrees, partly cloudy conditions and a 20 percent chance of rain.