Bears Holding a 21-14 Halftime Lead Over No. 18 Leathernecks
Thanks in part to a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jimmie Strong, the Missouri State Bears hold a narrow, 21-14 halftime lead over Western Illinois at the intermission at Plaster Field.
The two teams have an identical 251 yards in total offense through 30 minutes of play.
The 18th-ranked Leathernecks jumped out the board first, getting a 64-yard touchdown drive with 2:28 to go in the opening quarter when Josh Gabelmann crossed the line from one yard out.
The Bears bounced back on the very next drive with an 80-yard drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown run by quarterback Cody Kirby. The run was Kirby 's 32nd career touchdown and tied the game, 7-7.
On the very next play, Strong gave the Bears the lead on his second interception of the game and fourth of the season, returning it into the endzone with 11:25 left in the second quarter.
WIU bounced off the canvas with a four-minute-28-second drive to tie the game, 14-14. The 90-yard march consumed 10 plays and was capped on two-yard pass from Matt Barr to Drew Helt.
MSU, riding a three-game win streak at Plaster Field, scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to Chris Douglas just before the half to give the Bears a 21-14 lead. It marked the sixth game this season that Douglas has reached the end zone and eigth time in nine games.
The Bears (2-4, 1-2) are looking to get back in the MVFC hunt against the first-place Leathernecks (5-2, 3-1) on their Homecoming afternoon.