Southern looks to stop early season skid


John Davidson | The Chart

Junior running back Giresse Forchu runs against No. 1 Northwest Missouri during the Lions 2014 home opener at Fred G. Hughes Stadium on Sept. 11 2014. The Lions totaled just 177 yards on the ground in the contest, 49 courtesy of Forchu, a total he paired with two touchdowns. The Lions fell in the contest `q40-14.

Ian Taylor, Sports Editor

Southern (0-2, 0-2 MIAA) takes to the road once again as they attempt to get the season moving in the right direction.

This weekend they travel to Nebraska-Kearney territory to take on the Lopers (0-2, 0-2 MIAA) at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium.

The series history is led by the Lopers by an 8-4 total, but the last time the faced off was in 1988, a game the Lions lost 38-18.

Last week was another tough contest for a Southern team still trying to find their identity, looking to rekindle the rushing attack that guided them to a seven win season last year. But through the early going, with elite level teams in their path, the Lions have struggled to find the same success.

“We need a win bad, no doubt,” said Head Coach Daryl Daye. “Hopefully we can go up there and play better, do better and be successful.”

With some of the players in key positions still on the roster the Lions have the talent to produce, but with large turnover year after year it makes the pipeline filled with young talent, like the ones built at schools such as Pitt and Northwest, difficult to maintain.

But more important than the outlook for the roster down the line is the production right now, and the Lions know it is the little things that are killing them thus far.

“We can not put the ball on the ground,” said senior running back Michael Nelson. “We got to help our defense out … Be where we are supposed to be, do what we are supposed to do and it will all work out for us.”

The Lopers season to this point has been similar to that of the Lions, as they are also off to a slow start. With losses to Northwest Missouri as well as Washburn, two teams that like Southerns opponents come off successful seasons.

Now, with arguably the toughest portion of the schedule behind them, the Lions move on to games that boil down to must-win contests. Wins that would place the Lions on the track toward the playoffs. Games that begin with the contest against the Lopers this weekend at Nebraska-Kearney.