Hays, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern football team scored 14-straight points to start the second half and defeated Fort Hays State 41-31 in Hays today at Lewis Field Stadium.
Southern (4-6, 2-6 MIAA) wins its first game on the road this year and outscored the Tigers (3-7, 1-7 MIAA) 31-21 in the second half.
The Lions were led offensively by Cornell Gedward as the sophomore rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Collin Howard threw for 328 yards on 18-28 passing and had one touchdown. Blake McDonald had a passing touchdown of his own when he was inserted at the wide receiver slot and took the ball from Ne'Ronte Threatt on an end around and hit Threatt perfectly in stride for the score. Threatt caught 10 passes for 225 yards and two scores. The 225 yards is the second-most all-time by a Lions receiver in a game, second only to Rod Smith's 254 in 1991 against Southwest Baptist. Threatt also added 41 yards on kickoff returns.
Defensively, Justin Cowper led the Lions with six tackles, while Demond Horsely and Eric Willis had six, as well. Dusty Bratzler added five stops and two tackles for a loss, while Scott Langill had five tackles, an interception and a sack. Josh Woodard had an interception and a sack, as well, while Brandon Dean picked up a forced fumble and a half sack.
Dallas Herndon connected on each of his field goals, a 35-yarder as time expired in the first half and a 21 yarder with 10 minutes in the fourth.
Southern started the scoring with a one-yard rush from Howard to get on the board first. The Tigers answered back with an 18-yard field goal from Tyler Kimbrough and went on top 10-7 with a one-yard rush and score from James Walker late in the second. The Lions tied the score at the half with Herndon's first field goal.
The second half started off all Lions as Southern scored 14 quick points on its first two possessions of the half. The first being the end-around play from McDonald to Threatt for 21 yards and the second being a one yard rushing touchdown for Gedward to make the score 24-10.
Hays added another short run and score from Walker to start the fourth, and Southern went back on top 27-17 after Herndon's second field. goal. A 19-yard touchdown pass from Howard to Threatt made the score 34-17 before Hays answered back with a 45-yard pass and score to cut the lead back to ten at 34-24.
Southern scored on the very next possession as Gedward capped off a 40-yard drive with a six yard run for pay dirt to go up 41-24. Hays would add a late touchdown pass to make the final tally 41-31.
The Lions had 517 yards of total offense, but Hays racked up 529 on the MIAA's best defense. Southern limited the Tigers to 114 yards on the ground, while rushing for 139 themselves, but the Tigers threw for 415 yards in the air to the Lions 378.
The Lions will be back in action next Saturday, playing host to Washburn at 2 pm in Hughes Stadium for senior day.