JOPLIN, Mo. The Missouri Southern football team made it close, trailing by 11 with almost ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get any closer as the Lions fell to No. 7 ranked Northwest Missouri, 66-34 inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
Southern (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) had three different receivers with 100 or more yards as Dwayne Lawson had 122, Benjamin Phillips had 110 and Brian Boyd Jr. had 108. Lawson and Phillips had a touchdown each, while Jaedon Stoshak picked up a touchdown, as well.
Jacob Park threw for 442 yards on 29-of-66 with three touchdowns. He is the first Lion to throw for over 400 yards since Adam Hinspeter had 422 against Harding in 2008. He is also the first player since that same game with Hinspeter to have 400 or more total yards in a game.
Defensively, the Lions were led by Richard Jordan Jr. as he had nine tackles and two quarterback hurries. John Ejizu, Chris Leaks Jr. and Colton Winder had seven sacks each with Winder picking up a fumble recovery. David Rose had six tackles and five pass break ups, while Jamie Tago had six tackles, a sack, and three quarterback hurries. Jaylon Alexander had a pick six, returning an interception 55 yards for pay dirt. It was the first time since 2015 a player returned a touchdown for a score since EJ McKenzie did it against Pittsburg State.
Northwest Missouri State (3-0, 3-0 MIAA) got three touchdowns from Braden Wright as he hit Imoni Donadelle for two of those three.
After Northwest scored just 34 seconds into the game, the Lions got back on the board when JaTece Wright picked up a blocked punt and returned it eight yards to tie the game.
Northwest had a 31-7 lead before Phillips made the score 31-14 after Park hit him for 13 yards. A late touchdown from Park to Stoshak made the halftime score 38-21, Northwest.
Both teams scored in the third, with the Lions getting a score from Park to Lawson to make the score 45-27 to end the third and Alexander’s pick six made the score 45-34, Northwest with just under ten minutes to play.
Northwest, however, scored three late touchdowns to put the game away.
The Lions will be back in action next week when Southern travels to Fort Hays State. Kickoff is slated for 7 pm.