Thursday, August 31, 2017
MSSU football Lions lose season opener
Joplin, Mo. -- The visiting Fort Hays State Tigers scored on their first five possessions and didn't look back as the Missouri Southern football team fell 48-7 tonight in the season opener at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
The Lions (0-1, 0-1 MIAA) were led offensively by freshman Shemar Coleman and junior quarterback Dante Vandeven. Coleman rushed for 51 yards on seven carries, while catching one pass out of the backfield for 25 yards and a score. Vandeven went 15-29 in the air for 138 yards and a score, while rushing 11 times for 46 yards. Josh Hadley had 28 yards on the ground.
Josiah Bennet had four catches for 29 yards, while nine different Lions caught a pass tonight.
Defensively, the Lions were led by Roc Robbins as the sophomore had seven tackles, three and a half for a loss, including two sacks for losses of 12 yards. Alexander Wade had a team-high ten stops, while Desmond Paytonand Deshon Cowling had eight and seven tackles, respectively. Cowling forced a fumble and had a pass breakup.
Hays (1-0, 1-0 MIAA) was led by quarterback Jacob Mezera who went 21-29 through the air with 245 yards and two scores. Jacoby Williams played as well and went 6-7 for 80 yards and a score. Kicker Brandon Brown had two field goals from 36 and 39 yards.
As a team, the Lions had 225 yards on offense, but struggled with five fumbles on the night, losing three.
Hays led 27-0 before the Lions put on a quick scoring drive midway through the second quarter. Vandeven rushed for 17 yards to start the drive and Coleman rushed for 24, as well. Vandeven then hooked up with Coleman for a 25-yard passing touchdown to make the score 27-7.
The Tigers led 41-7 at the half and added a lone second-half score to win 48-7.
The Lions will be back in action next Thursday, traveling to Missouri Western to take on the Griffons. Kickoff is slated for 7 pm from St. Joseph.