Bears Trail Demons at the Half, 10-7
Aug 29, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Northwestern State limited the Missouri State offense to four first downs and 89 yards of total offense to take a 10-7 lead into the halftime locker room in the season opener for both clubs Thursday evening at Plaster Field. NSU's Daniel Taylor rushed six times for 54 yards - including 30 on a second-quarter touchdown run - to help the Demons control the clock for nearly 19 of the first 30 minutes of the contest.
Both defenses enjoyed strong starts to the season, with the two teams combining for just 113 yards of total offense in the first quarter. Northwestern State held the Bears without a first down until early in the second period, while the MSU defense came up with a key turnover to thwart an early scoring chance for the Demons. After NSU quarterback Zach Adkins began the evening with seven straight completions and moved his team to the Bears' 17-yard line, MSU junior linebacker Andrew Beisel stepped in front of a third-down pass attempt for the first interception of his career.
But the Demon defense held again, and the NSU offense needed just five plays to drive 58 yards for the first score of the night, punctuated by a Daniel Taylor 30-yard touchdown scamper. The drive capped a dominant early stretch that saw the Demons reel off 25 first-quarter plays to the Bears nine, while controlling the clock for over 11 minutes in the opening period.
Senior running back Mikael Cooper-Falls sparked the Bears' offense on the ensuing possession, carrying the ball six times for 25 yards to set up MSU's first scoring drive of the year. Junior quarterback Kierra Harris hooked up with senior receiver Dorian Buford for a key 25-yard completion to the Demons' 30, then scored on a one-yard run with 9:17 to play in the half to help the Bears even up the score at 7-7.
The Demons closed out the half with a seven-play drive over the final 2:39 of the period to take a three-point lead into intermission after Chris Moore booted a 44-yard field goal as time expired.
Robert Walker supplemented the NSU rushing attack with 44 yards on 11 carries to help the Demons rack up 13 total first downs. Adkins finished the half 13-of-18 for 89 yards through the air, hitting Shakeir Ryan four times for 21 yards and Ed Eagan three times for 26 yards.
In addition to his interception, Beisel added seven tackles, while junior cornerback Sybhrian Berry logged eight stops (five unassisted) for the Bears.