Football Bears Fall in Final Minute at No. 13 SIU
Sept. 24, 2011
FINAL STATS (PDF)
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A back-and-forth second half ultimately fell the way of the home team, and Southern Illinois (2-1, 1-0) defeated Missouri State (0-4, 0-1), by a 20-18 count here Saturday in the Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both teams.
Missouri State took its first lead of the night, 18-17, on a one-yard touchdown run by Chris Douglas with six seconds left in the third quarter and started to take charge throughout the fourth quarter. After the two-point conversion failed, the Bears soon forced a Salukis fumble at their own 43 with 13:05 to go. MSU would then drive to the SIU 27 before Trevor Wooden was picked off in the end zone to end the threat.
The Bears' defense came up with another big series after that and forced the No. 13 Salukis into a punt from their own 31 with 6:47 to play. However, the Bears would punt it back just three plays later, and Southern took over at its own 28 to set up the game-winning drive.
SIU drove 62 yards on 11 plays to the MSU 10-yard line before settling for a 27-yard field goal by Jackson MacLachlan -- a Springfield, Mo., native -- to give the Salukis a 20-18 lead with 50 seconds remaining.
The Bears returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 39, but a sack set the Bears back to their own 31 before Wooden was picked off for the third and final time of the game on the next play. James McFadden hauled in the desperation pass at the SIU 21 with 12 seconds to go, securing a home win for SIU and giving Missouri State its 11th straight road loss.
Wooden finished 9-for-19 for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked just twice and finished with 183 yards of total offense. Chris Douglas added 85 yards on 14 carries, while Jermaine Saffold caught five passes for 122 yards, giving him his seventh career 100-yard receiving game.
Jewel Hampton carried 21 times for 119 yards for SIU, while Paul McIntosh finished 13-for-24 through the air for 206 yards, while adding 60 ground yards on 16 carries.
The Salukis scored on the game's opening drive when McIntosh punched it into the end zone from 12 yards out to make it 7-0. The seven-play, 46-yard drive was set up by a long opening kickoff return that put SIU in Missouri State territory to start the game.
Missouri State didn't take long to retaliate as Wooden connected with Jermaine Saffold for a 76-yard touchdown pass on the Bears' first play from scrimmage moments later. The extra point attempt failed when the snap eluded holder Ian Starnes to make it a 7-6 game.
In the second quarter, McIntosh capped an 86-yard, 11-play drive for SIU to give the home club a 14-6 advantage with 12:20 to go in the half. Once again, the Bears bounced back with an 81-yard touchdown drive. This time, Wooden connected with tight end Matt Thayer from 16 yards out to cap a nine-play series that took nearly four-and-a-half minutes. The Bears' two-point conversion attempt failed as Wooden's pass to Thayer in the left corner of the end zone was underthrown.
The Salukis would miss a 22-yard field goal attempt with 2:23 left in the half, and the Bears appeared to be driving into field goal range in the closing moments of the half. But a Wooden pass with 20 seconds remaining was tipped and the line of scrimmage and picked off by Jayson DiManche of SIU to midfield. SIU took two shots at the end zone, but McIntosh could not make connections on either try.
SIU tacked on a 31-yard field goal by Jackson McLachlan at the 11:41 mark of the third quarter to build a 17-12 lead. The kick capped a 61-yard drive for the Salukis after the home club held the Bears on the opening drive of the second half.