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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Defense, late heroics lift Lions over UCO

Missouri Southern Athletics

EDMOND, Okla. A 54-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from Dawson Herl to Brian Boyd Jr. inside the final minute, as well as a pair of interceptions from Dylan Bolden helped lead the Missouri Southern football team to a 14-10 road win at Central Oklahoma tonight.

The Lions (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) win for the first time over the Bronchos since 2013 and stop a six-game skid against UCO (1-2, 1-2 MIAA). Southern forced three takeaways on the night, including Bolden’s two interceptions, one of which was returned 27 yards for a score.

“This is an MIAA game,” said head coach Atiba Bradley. “You went and you saw the teams go back and forth all night. They scored, we answered. This was a great effort.”

Herl went 8-of-18 for 146 yards, but none were bigger than the 54-yards he got on the touchdown pass to Boyd. Boyd picked up two receptions for 71 yards and a score, while Nathan Glades had 18 carries for 73 yards. Akeem Gilmore, Keandre Bledsoe and Glades had a reception each.

Defensively, the Lions shined today. The team forced three takeaways, including Bolden’s two interceptions and a fumble recovery from Jerod Alton. Malachi Broadnax had eight tackles including seven solo, while Colton Winder had seven stops of his own.

Richard Jordan Jr. had six stops, a sack and two tackles for a loss, while Coleman Booker had six stops of his own. Jordan Jr. went over 200 tackles in his career and now has 202 for the Green and Gold.

Bolden started the scoring for the Lions in the first quarter as he recorded a pick-six, taking an interception 27 yards for the score to put the Lions up 7-0 after the PAT. It was the first interception returned for a touchdown since the 2019 season when Jaylon Alexander had a 55-yarder against Northwest Missouri.

“He (Bolden) was in a cover-two look and staring at the quarterback and he threw him the ball. He made a play and I’m so happy for the guys to get to see their hard work pay off. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

The Bronchos tied the score with 8:44 left in the second quarter with a rushing touchdown from Tucker Pawley and a 26-yard field goal with ten seconds to go before halftime gave UCO a 10-7 lead at the break.

Neither team scored in the third quarter and Southern had a chance to put some points on the board midway through the fourth but a field goal attempt for Nick Williams was no good.

“I went right over to him and told him to pick his head up,” Bradley said. “I told him he’s going to make a game-winner for us sometime, I guarantee it. That kid is good and has a really short memory.”

After forcing another punt, the Southern offense came back on the field with 2:50 to go in the game. Southern got a third-down conversion from Glades with a three-yard carry to the Southern 36-yard line and picked up a short pass from Herl to Jaedon Stoshak setting up what would be the game-winner. On 4th and three from their own 46-yard line, Herl hooked up with Boyd for a 54-yarder to go ahead 14-10 after the PAT from Williams.

Southern had 115 yards on the ground tonight and 153 through the air to out-gain the Bronchos 268 to 249.

Southern will be back in action next Saturday when the Lions host Fort Hays State for Homecoming. Kickoff from Fred G. Hughes Stadium is slated for 2 pm.


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