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Bears Fall Short in 43-36 Double-Overtime Loss to SDSU



Oct. 29, 2011

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SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State (1-8, 1-5 MVFC) racked up a season-high 451 yards, but came up just short in a 43-36 double-overtime loss to visiting South Dakota State (3-6, 2-4) here Saturday in Missouri Valley Football Conference action.

The Jackrabbits spoiled the Bears' homecoming with a two-yard touchdown run by Zach Zenner, who finished with a team-high 77 rushing yards, in the second overtime to secure the come-from-behind win. The Bears could not answer on their second overtime possession and turned the ball over on downs four plays later, three yards shy of the first-down marker at the 15.

The Bears had a chance to go ahead late in regulation as they marched to the SDSU 15 with less than two minutes to play. However, an Austin Witmer 32-yard field goal sailed wide right to end the 10-play scoring threat, and the Jackrabbits ran out the clock to settle for a chance in overtime with the game tied 29-29.

In the extra period, the Bears took command quickly, covering the 25 yards in just four plays to go ahead 36-29 on a one-yard run by Trevor Wooden.  South Dakota State retaliated on the very next play with a 25-yard strike from Austin Sumner to Dale Moss to knot the score at 36.

It took Sumner just four plays to put SDSU ahead for good in the second overtime.

Sumner finished 20-for-31 for 377 yards and four touchdowns, including two TD strikes to Moss who had seven catches for 178 yards. Aaron Rollin had a game-high eight receptions for SDSU for 163 yards.



Wooden led MSU's charge with 338 yards of total offense, including a game-high and career-high 107 rushing yards on 24 carries. He also passes for 231 yards, going 22-for-31 with a career-best four touchdowns. He became the first MSU signal caller to throw for four scores since Cody Kirby on Oct. 6, 2007 against Illinois State.

Jermaine Saffold had seven receptions for 74 yards and became MSU's career leader in receiving yardage. The senior from Grandview, Mo., now has 2,062 yards on 113 career catches.

Matt Thayer added three catches for 50 yards for MSU with a pair of touchdowns, while Chris Douglas tallied 76 rushing yards on 21 touches.

In regulation, the Bears led 14-9 at the half after Missouri State turned a key second-quarter turnover into seven points.  Trailing 7-3, the Jackrabbits fumbled on their own 29 with 38 seconds left in the opening quarter. On the very next play, Wooden connected with Matt Thayer from 27 yards out for a quick-strike, one-play scoring drive to put MSU up 14-3.

SDSU rallied with 5:23 left in the first half with a 90-yard scoring drive to make it 14-9.  A five-yard TD pass to Rollin from Sumner capped the nine-play drive. The Jackrabbits went for a two-point conversion, which failed on an incomplete pass from Sumner.

There were five touchdowns in the second half, but none more fatal than an 80-yard strike from Sumner to Moss with 6:20 left in the game. The Jackrabbits' tying score came on the heels of a stellar, 11-play, 86-yard scoring drive the Bears that put them ahead 29-22 with 6:33 remaining. Wooden converted the two-point conversion pass to Cadarrius Dotson to pull the Bears ahead 29-22, and Witmer's ensuing kick was downed for a touchback.  The next play Sumner found Moss wide open on the far sideline.

From there, the Bears rallied to the SDSU 15 in the final moments before the missed field goal by Witmer extended the game to extra time.

The Bears, who ran 86 plays, the most under Terry Allen, will host Indiana State in two weeks when the Sycamores invade Plaster Field on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.

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