Football Bears and Sycamores Tied 21-21 at Halftime in Terre Haute
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The first half has seen Missouri State (2-3, 1-1) overcome a seven-point deficit three times to tie the Indiana State Sycamores (3-2, 1-1), 21-21, at the half in a key Missouri Valley Football Conference game for both clubs.
Indiana State got on the board early on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Fouch to Ednut Egberongbe to cap a 76-yard drive on the opening series. The eight-play sequence took just over three-and-a-half minutes.
With 4:36 left in the first, Missouri State freshman Howard Scarborough stepped up with his first career interception at the ISU 33. From there, Chris Douglas picked up 30 ground yards on four carries before Cody Kirby punched it into the end zone from one yard out for the tying score. It was Missouri State's seventh pick of the year.
In the second quarter, what looked like a 53-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Gates was called back on a Sycamores' hold and resulted two plays later in a punt. That punt was blocked by Antoine Wilkinson, but because it was recovered behind the line, ISU tight end advanced it to the Missouri State four-yard line. The unusual play led to a four-yard touchdown run by Gates on the very next play to make it 14-7 with 9:06 left in the first half.
Just three plays later, Missouri State retaliated with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to Jermaine Saffold to tie the game, 14-14, with 7:26 to play.
With three minutes to go in the half, the Sycamores converted a fourth-and-six at the MSU 24 and then used the steady legs of Gates to create a first-and-goal at the one. The Bears stopped the first play from there, but Gates soon punched it in with 1:08 left in the opening half to put ISU back on top 21-14.
Saffold returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to the ISU 28, giving the Bears a chance to go into the locker room with some momentum. On third down, Kirby rushed 16 yards to the five, leaving 21 seconds to work with. Douglas then carried to the two before MSU called its second timeout of the quarter with 15 ticks left. On second down, Kirby was flushed out of bounds for no gain, and then a fade to Trevor Wooden into the corner went incomplete thanks to pass interference call on the Sycamores, setting up first and goal from the one and four seconds to play in the half. Douglas slipped on the ensuing play for a one-yard loss to the two, but the Bears beat the clock to call their final timeout and one more chance. Douglas took advantage, taking the pitch around the right end for the tying score as time expired.
Gates has a game-high 84 yards on 15 carries for ISU, while Fouch is 5-for-12 for 60 yards, an interception and a touchdown.
Kirby is just 2-for-11 for 63 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Missouri State. The Bears have 40 rushing yards by Stephen Johnston and 36 by Douglas.
Indiana State has outgained the Bears, 226-149, including a 166-86 advantage on the ground. Both teams have nine first downs, and the time of possession is virtually even.