Omaha, Neb. -- Two late turnovers that were both turned into touchdowns helped seal a win for Nebraska-Omaha as the Mavericks defeated Missouri Southern 42-10 tonight at Canligia Field in Omaha.
The Lions (2-2, 0-2 MIAA) lost their third-straight game to UNO (1-3, 1-1 MIAA) as the Mavs avoided going 0-4 for the first time since 1994, coach Pat Behrns first season as head coach at UNO.
Cornell Gedward and Steven Sumpter rushed for 40 and 39 yards, respectively, but the Lions' lone score came from Anthon Aiono as the senior scored on a one-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Collin Howard was 13-24 and threw for 106 yards, but threw two interceptions. Roland Thompson came in late in the fourth quarter and 7-9 for 77 yards. Ne'Ronte Threatt had 8 catches for 90 yards, while Landon Zerkel caught five passes for 51 yards.
John Michael Bryant led the Lions with seven tackles, four solo. Justin Cowper had six stops, while four others gathered four tackles each. Brandon Williams and Maurice Pearl each had a sack for a loss of nine yards, while Skyler Vandiver picked off a pass and Josh Woodard had a fumble recovery.
The Mavs scored first on a one-yard touchdown run from James Franklin III just five minutes into the game. The Lions answered back with a 22-yard field goal from Dallas Herndon. Franklin added another score in the second and the Mavs would go up 21-3 right before the half after John Tiegland hit Austin Wells on a 34-yard touchdown pass and catch with 28 seconds left in the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble return for a score on successive possessions in the fourth put the game away for the Mavs and gave UNO a 35-3 lead with ten minutes left in the fourth.
A touchdown from Aiono cut the lead to 35-10 with six minutes to go and the Mavericks added another score with three minutes to go for the final tally.
The Lions out-gained the Mavericks 312-308, but three turnovers and 3-14 on third down conversions, as well as UNO going 3-3 in the red zone sealed Southern's fate.
The Lions will be back in action next week when Southern travels across the border to take on Pittsburg State in the Sonic Miners Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 2 pm from Carnie Smith Stadium.