Bears regain winning ways, 63-7
The Missouri State football Bears tallied touchdowns nine of the first 10 times they got their hands on the ball and cruised to a 63-7 Gateway Football Conference win over the Indiana State Sycamores Saturday at Plaster Field. A Homecoming crowd of 12,032 looked on as Missouri State snapped a two-game losing streak to climb to 5-4 for the season.
The Bears got record performances on offense from senior TB Gerald Davis and freshman QB Cody Kirby as they ran up 21-point efforts in each of the first three quarters and sent the Sycamores to their ninth defeat in as many games this season. ISU is 0-5 in the Gateway and the Bears climbed to 2-3 in league play.
G. Davis ran for five touchdowns in the contest, breaking a single game Missouri State rushing touchdown record he had previously shared with 10 other people. Davis had had four TDs this year in the Bears’ season opener against Missouri-Rolla. He pushed his season TD total to 16, within two of the Bears’ season mark.
Kirby was a pinpoint 10-of-12 passing for 183 yards and his ninth TD of the year. That pushed his season aerial yardage total to 1,401, most ever for a Bears’ freshman quarterback. He passed the rookie season efforts of Greg Arterburn (1,309 yards in 1982) and Jeremy Hoog (1,391 yards in 1994) and tied the freshman passing TD mark of nine from Hoog.
The Bears got the ball from the Sycamores six times on turnovers and turned five of those into touchdowns, including a 43-yard fumble interception return TD by LB Jeron Poole to start the third quarter. The Bears also tallied on possessions which started with pass interceptions by CB Derek Miller, CB Justin Fuselier and CB Cedric Alvis and after a fumble recovery by DE Clayton Dickehut.
G. Davis scored on runs of 5, 4, 3, 7 and 1 yards as he finished with 82 yards on 14 carries. TB Kingjack Washington led the Bears’ rushing with 104 yards on 23 carries and had the game’s first touchdown on a 23-yard jaunt two minutes into the contest. Missouri State’s remaining score came on a 33-yard TD throw from Kirby to TE Clayton Harbor late in the second period. Harbor had the best day among the Bears’ receivers with 106 yards on five catches, including a 49-yard catch that set up yet another score. Freshman WR Brandon Oliver caught three passes for 44 yards and senior WR Jeremy Nicholson’s one catch on the day pushed his career receiving yardage total to 1,009 yards, making him the 14th player in Bear grid history with 1,000 receiving yards.
Missouri State finished with 326 rushing yards and 262 through the air for a 588-yard total offense day.
K/P Nathan Stokes, in addition to hitting all nine of his extra-point tries, boomed a 70-yard punt in the second period. It tied for the fifth longest punt on record at Missouri State and came a week after he had lofted a 75-yarder at Southern Illinois.
Moving to 4-0 at home on the season, the Bears have two more games, both at Plaster Field. The Bears next entertain the top-ranked and league-leading UNI Panthers next Saturday (Nov. 3) at 1:00 p.m. UNI moved to 8-0 with a 14-13 win over Youngstown State Saturday at Cedar Falls.