Football falls in shootout at Missouri State

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    Shariff Harris
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    Oct. 30, 2010

    By Jason Clay
    SIUSalukis.com

    Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

    1st
    2nd
    3rd
    4th
    F
    SIU
    12
    7
    14
    8
    41
    MSU
    3
    14
    17
    17
    51

    Shariff Harris
    Team Stat Comparison
    SIU
    MSU

    First Downs

    19

    21

    Net Rushing Yds

    265

    130

      Rush Att.

    40

    42

      Avg. Per Rush

    6.6

    3.1

      Rushing TDs

    3

    4

    Net Passing Yds

    210

    365

      Cmp-Att

    15-22

    25-37

      Int Thrown

    1

    0

      Avg. Per Cmp

    14.0

    14.6

      Passing TDs

    2

    2

    Total Offense

    475

    495

    Individual Stat Leaders
    Rushing

    SIU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    S. Harris

    16

    152

    1

    58

    MSU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    C. Douglas

    15

    86

    3

    30

    Passing

    SIU

    C-A-I

    Yds

    TDs

    C. Dieker

    15-21-1

    210

    2

    MSU

    C-A-I

    Yds

    TDs

    C. Kirby

    24-36-0

    348

    2

    Receiving

    SIU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    J. Evans

    5

    56

    0

    17

    MSU

    No

    Yds

    TDs

    Long

    J. Saffold

    9

    176

    1

    53

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State scored the final 10 points in an offensive firestorm to hand the Southern Illinois football team a 51-41 loss on Saturday at Plaster Field.

    The loss, SIU's second in a row, all but ends Southern's chances of extending its nation's second-leading playoff streak to eight consecutive seasons. The Salukis fall to 3-5 on the year, 2-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

    Missouri State, with its fourth-consecutive home victory, improves to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in league play.

    Head coach Dale Lennon thought the difference in the game was Missouri State scoring 13 points off three Saluki turnovers and Southern's inability to force the Bears to turn the ball over.

    "I think the turning point in the game was in the third quarter offensively when we committed two turnovers," Lennon said. "We got to protect the ball and those were things we didn't do. That kind of started the track meet after that. Fortunately we responded and got back in it, but we just weren't able to close."

    Missouri State overcame a two-point halftime deficit by scoring 17 unanswered points with the help from two Saluki turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter. SIU tied the game up at 41 with plenty of time left in the game, but was unable to hold off the MSU attack.

    The Bears, who came into the day with the nation's No. 5 scoring offense at 36.6 points per game, threw for 365 yards and had 495 yards of total offense. The 92 combined points in the game is the highest scoring affair Southern has been a part of since Oct. 5, 2002, when SIU defeated Western Illinois, 54-52.

    The Salukis had 475 yards of total offense and 282 of that came on the ground. Junior running back Shariff Harris ran for 152 yards on 16 carries (9.5 average) with one touchdown. The loss ends Southern's 15-game winning streak when they have a 100-yard rusher.

    Sophomore running back Steve Strother had 145 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. His first was a 60-yard touchdown reception from Chris Dieker in the third quarter, and his second was on a five-yard run that helped SIU tie the game at 41 with 11:23 to play.

    Dieker threw for 210 yards on 15-of-21 passing and one interception that went through the hands of a Saluki receiver and into the arms of Missouri State's Derek Miller. Dieker threw two TDs on the day and ran for another.

    Missouri State quarterback Cody Kirby was 24-of-36 passing for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Jermaine Saffold had nine receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown to lead the Bear receivers.

    Southern's defense was led by senior inside linebacker Stephen Franklin, who registered his third double-digit tackle game of the season with 10 stops. SIU had nine tackles for a loss in the game and three sacks. Outside backer Jayson DiManche was in on a pair of sacks and finished with nine tackles.

    The offense's for both teams were clicking in the first half, as both teams combined for 410 yards.

    Southern Illinois had 224 yards, with 166 of that coming on the ground. Harris ran for 75 yards on 11 carries and had SIU's first touchdown of the game that gave Southern a 9-0 lead six and a half minutes in. It was his first touchdown run since Oct. 2.

    
The teams traded field goals to end the first quarter and then Dieker scored on a one-yard keeper at 9:17 of the second quarter, which was Southern's third-straight drive that produced points.

    Kirby and the Bears also scored on three-straight drives, and Chris Douglas' one-yard touchdown run at 4:27 cut SIU's lead down to 19-17 at the half.

    Missouri State came out in the third quarter and scored 17 unanswered points and the first 10 of those were set up by SIU turnovers in its own territory.

    Kirby's two-yard touchdown pass to Wes Miller at 4:29 gave the Bears a 34-19 lead.

    The Salukis finally woke up after that and managed to score 14 points over the next 3:12 to cut the Bear lead down to one, 34-33 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

    Dieker hit Strother on a 60-yard touchdown pass on the first play after Kirby's TD toss. Then after a quick stop from the Saluki defense, Dieker struck again for SIU.

    He found C.J. Robertson on a beautifully planned tight end screen and Robertson went in nearly untouched from 27 yards out for his first career touchdown reception.

    It didn't remain a one-point game for long though, as Missouri State scored two minutes and 36 seconds later on a one-yard touchdown run from Stephen Johnston.

    However, Southern Illinois would counter again and the Salukis tied the game up with a 11:23 to go. Harris' 58-yard run set up a five-yard rushing touchdown from Strother and then Paul McIntosh ran in the two-point conversion to knot the game up 41.

    Autin Witmer's third field goal of the game, a 30-yarder at 8:29, put the Bears back on top by three. Southern had its chances to come back, but was unable to score the rest of the way.

    Douglas added an eight-yard touchdown run with 2:20 to play to seal the victory for the Bears.

     

     

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