Football Bears Trail No. 4 NDSU 24-14 at the Half
Oct. 15, 2011
FARGO, N.D. -- The Missouri State Bears battled the fourth-ranked North Dakota State Bison in a tough first half standoff before the NDSU took over to build a 10-point halftime advantage, 24-14, Saturday evening in Fargo, N.D.
After the 3-0 defensive struggle the Bears won in Springfield in last year's regular-season finale before NDSU went on to the 2010 NCAA FCS quarterfinals, Saturday's game started like an offensive highlight film. The teams combined for five straight scoring possessions with four early lead changes in the game, but NDSU managed points on all four of its first half possessions for a 24-14 halftime advantage.
Bison sophomore quarterback Brock Jensen was unstoppable early, hitting a perfect 15-of-15 passing the first half to threaten the NCAA FCS record of 20 straight completions to start a game, a mark set by Austin Moherman of MSU in 2000 at Indiana State.
Jensen found senior wide receiver Warren Holloway six times for 109 yards in the first half as Holloway, among NDSU's all-time top five in receptions and receiving yards, hauled in scoring aerials of 31 and 47 yards. Each score erased a Bears' lead and RB D.J. McNorton rambled in from the 20 two minutes before halftime to push the Bison lead to 10.
For their part, the Bears had two impressive drives to grab the lead twice in the opening 30 minutes. Bears' sophomore QB Trevor Wooden nailed WR Ian Starnes for 29 yards to cap an 84-yard drive that gave MSU a 7-3 edge. The Bears tallied on a 69-yard drive the next time they had the ball with Wooden finishing the job on a 19-yard throw to RB Chris Douglas at the start of the second period as MSU moved in front 14-10. The Bears moved 50 yards just before halftime and K Austin Witmer had the length on a bid for a career-best 47-yard field goal on the last play of the half but the kick was wide left.