Southern football falls 35-10 at Central Missouri

Warrensburg, Mo. -- Central Missouri scored 21-unanswered points and the Mules defeated visiting Missouri Southern today in football action at Walton Stadium in Warrensburg. 

Southern (3-2, 3-2 MIAA) threw for 206 yards and ran for 151 for a total of 357 in the game. they again controlled the clock, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes, doubling that of Central. 

Central (4-1, 4-1 MIAA) completed 22 of 38 passes for 322 yards and had 425 overall in the game. 

Both teams started out in a shootout as after the Lions went three and out on their first possession, the Mules got on the board first with a 10-yard touchdown run from LaVance Taylor to cap off a four-play drive. 

Southern would answer with their own four-play drive as for the first time this season, Kellen Cox and Landon Zerkel hooked up for a touchdown pass, a 63-yard pass and catch for a score. 

Not to be out done, the Mules' Colter Smith hooked up with Ronrei Lloyd on a 77-yard touchdown pass to give Central a 14-7 lead. 

Back-to-back interceptions gave the Lions the ball as Devon Dace picked off Smith in the endzone to stop a Central rally. The Lions capped off a long drive with a 23-yard field goal from Dallas Herndon to make the score 14-10 with 2:19 left in the first quarter. 

Taylor ended a long drive for Central as he capped it off with a three-yard touchdown run to give the Mules a 21-10 lead. A 26-yard field goal attempt by Herndon with 2:18 left in the half was missed wide right and the Lions went into the locker room down 21-10 at the break. 

Not much went on in the third quarter, but with 21 seconds left on the clock Smith found Lloyd alone in the left side of the endzone to give the Mules a 28-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. 

The Lions utilized a halfback pass from Ne'Ronte Threatt to Zerkel for 38 yards for a big gain on their next drive, but an interception ended the drive prematurely. 

Central added another touchdown and the Lions were threatening late, but after a pair of 37-yard gains, a run from Jay McDowell and a pass from McDowell to Jawanza Davidson, the Lions' drive stalled inside the 20 after a fumble ended the game. 

Cox was 5-12 in the air today with 131 yards and a touchdown pass. He ran for 26 yards, as well. Zerkel caught four passes for 150 yards and a score. McDowell ran five times for 40 yards and had one pass for 37 yards, as well. 

Defensively, the Lions were led by Elijah Swen as he had seven tackles, six solo. Gatlin Ridgway, Alex Wong and Demon Haire all had five tackles each, while Dace added an interception and Molik Slade had a sack. 

The Lions will be back in action next Saturday as Southern steps out of MIAA play to play host to South Dakota Mines on Homecoming. Kickoff from Hughes Stadium is set for 2 pm.