Searcy, Ark.. - An 11-yard touchdown pass from Josh Powell to Tyler Quinn with 18 seconds left gave Harding University a 17-15 win over Missouri Southern in the Lions' season opener tonight.
Southern (0-1) had two scores from senior Daniel Thompson, one through the air and another on the ground, and out gained the Bisons, 377-363, but it was in the air where Harding (1-0) made its presence felt.
After a fumble from Collin Howard, Harding took the ball to the four yard line and settled for a 21 yard field goal from Adin Menkin.
The Lions answered back on the very next drive as Thompson ran the perfect reverse and scampered for the 14-yard score. Southern added a safety when David Benham sacked Powell to make the score 9-3, Lions going into the half.
Harding picked up its first touchdown of the day with 13 seconds left in the third when Powell connected with Kurt Adams for a 33 yard touchdown. The Bisons missed the extra point, but Southern was flagged for offsides and gave the Bisons another chance. After a false start pushed Harding back five yards, the Bisons converted on the two point conversion to go up 11-9.
Howard hooked up with Thompson to give the Lions back the lead on their very next possession, but the two point conversion failed, making the score 15-9.
Harding took the ball with 2:20 left in the game and drove 56 yards before Powell hit Quinn with the game-winner.
Thompson had both the Lions' scores, while Toderick Hunt had 20 carries for 88 yards. Howard had 64 yards on 18 carries. The Lions out-gained Harding 216-65 on the ground, but were out gained 298-161 in the air.
Benham led the Lions with 13 tackles, one forced fumble and a sack. Jarius Jarvis had a sack and a half, while Nick Teer and Domenique Buttler had a sack each. Jared Brawner had a half a sack and 12 total tackles as the Lions racked up five sacks in the game.
Southern will have two weeks to prepare for its next game as the Lions will play next at Washburn on September 12.