Bears Trail Salukis at the Intermission, 19-17, in Key MVFC Game
Missouri State trails Southern Illinois, 19-17, at the half at Plaster Field, nearly erasing an early 9-0 deficit.
Cody Kirby has completed 13-of-19 pass attempts for 164 yards and a touchdown to lead MSU. He was sacked twice to close out the half and preserve a narrow SIU advantage.
The Salukis got on the board early with a safety just five minutes into the game and then added a 47-yard touchdown drive 81 seconds later to make it 9-0. A two-yard touchdown run by Shariff Harris capped the five-play drive.
Austin Witmer got the Bears on the board with 4:31 to go in the opening quarter with a 24-yard field goal. His kick, the second field goal of the freshman's career, capped a short, seven-play drive.
Kyle Dougherty tacked on a 22-yard field goal for the Salukis on the final play of the first quarter to make it 12-3 before the Bears got rolling.
An 82-yard touchdown drive on the next series saw the Bears make it a 12-10 game. Kirby hit Jermaine Saffold for a seven-yard score to cap the drive.
Then, after the Salukis made it a 19-10 game on an 80-yard drive of their own, the Bears closed out the first-half scoring with a substantial scoring drive. The 12-play effort was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Chris Douglas.
Douglas has now scored a touchdown in nine of the last 10 MSU ball games. He finished the first half with seven carries for 26 yards.
Harris had 11 carries for 75 yards to lead the Salukis, while Chris Dieker was 6-for-8 for 58 passing yards.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference match-up has Missouri State riding a four-game home win streak.