MSU Collects Four Interceptions en Route to 45-28 Win at Southeast
Missouri State (1-2) collected three first-half interceptions and tallied 314 yards total offense overall to overtake Southeast Missouri State (1-3), 45-28, in a Saturday night shootout in Cape Girardeau.
It was MSU's 46th win in the 74-game series and seventh in a row. The Bears also evened their all-time record at 427-427-40.
The Bears got on the board first with 3:46 left in the opening quarter on a 25-yard reception by senior Chris Geisz from sophomore Cody Kirby. The early touchdown strike capped a 64-yard drive that took the Bears just seven plays.
Kirby later scrambled into the endzone with 6:30 to play in the first half to make it 14-0 after Matt Hottelman's second PAT. MSU's second score of the half was set up by a key interception by Chris Miller at the Southeast 24 yard-line just five plays earlier.
Senior cornerback Chris Farrar responded on the final play of the half and returned his first career interception 47 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0 at halftime.
The Redhawks broke up the shutout at the 8:49 mark of the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown by Henry Harris that capped a 47-yard drive. However, the Bears responded on the ensuing drive, marching 78 yards on 9 plays, for their fourth touchdown of the night, a seven-yard strike from Kirby to Clay Harbor. Harbor caught three passes on the drive and matched a career high with 7 on the night.
The teams exchanged scores in the fourth quarter as Southeast scored on passing plays of 20, 22, and 36 yards. MSU responded with a 95-yard kickoff return by Brandon Oliver, a 45-yard field goal by Matt Hottelman and Cedric Alvis' 57-yard interception return with 58 seconds to play.
MSU's defense surrendered just 127 yards in the first 30 minutes of play, but Lillard posted 264 passing yards in the second half and finished with 331 to keep the Redhawks in the game late.
The Bears were led by Kirby's 195 passing yards on 20-of-27 attempts while Kingjack Washington had 58 rushing yards. Tony Randolph had 13 tackles for Missouri State to lead the defense, while Byron Hightower added 8, and Skylar Smith joined Chris Farrar with 7 tackles apiece. Smith and Chris Miller also added interceptions for the Bears.