SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KELO) — The University of South Dakota football team sought its third consecutive win Saturday night as they opened Missouri Valley Football Conference play on the road against Missouri State, but after a hot start, the Coyotes would ultimately fall short.
USD capitalized early on some Missouri State miscues. The Bears muffed a punt on the Coyotes opening drive and USD recovered. Travis Theis scored a play later to put USD up 7-0.
On the ensuing Missouri State drive it would be the USD defense’s turn to force a turnover as Jakari Starling came up with the strip sack on Jason Shelley, and DeValon Whitcomb recovered the loose ball. USD struck one play later
Missouri State answered on its ensuing drive with Shelley rushing for a 26 yard touchdown to cut the Coyotes lead in half.
A big goal-line stand from the Missouri State defense kept it a 7 point game in the 2nd quarter as Mike Mansaray was denied on 4th and goal from 1 yard line.
Couple drives later, the Bears defense came up with a momentum changer as they recovered a fumble. Missouri State would strike one play later to knot the game up at 14.
But just when you thought the Bears took all the momentum, USD answered immediately with a 99-yard kick return for a TD by Wesley Eliodor as that gave USD a 20-14 lead, though the extra point was blocked, and that would loom large.
USD wasn’t done scoring in the first half either as a last minute drive resulted in a 27-yard Mason Lorber field goal.
USD led 23-14 at the half, but Missouri State would cut into that lead with a 42 yard field goal in the 3rd quarter.
Missouri State would take the lead in the 4th quarter as Jason Shelley hit Kevon Latulas for a 3 yard touchdown. The extra point was good, giving the Bears a 24-23 lead.
USD got the ball with 7:04 remaining looking for the lead, but Missouri State would force a Carson Camp interception.
On the ensuing drive, Jason Shelley would make the play of the game, escaping out of the pocket and scampering in for a 12 yard touchdown on 3rd and 8 to put Missouri State up 31-23.
USD would would have multiple opportunities for the tie, but turned it over on downs late in the 4th quarter. After turning Missouri State over on their ensuing drive USD would get another chance. They got inside the Bears 10 yard line, but Carson Camp would be intercepted by Montrae Braswell with 0:41 to go clinch a Missouri State win.
USD will play next this Saturday at home as they host Indiana State.