Turnovers again haunt Miners in GLVC setback.
The Missouri S&T football team held a halftime lead Saturday over Truman State by keeping it out of the end zone, but a sloppy second half – punctuated by four Miner turnovers - pushed the Bulldogs to a 27-7 Great Lakes Valley Conference victory at Stokes Stadium.
S&T falls to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in GLVC play while Truman State improves to 6-2 and 4-0.
The Miners held the Bulldogs to just 121 yards of offense in a turnover-free first half on their own part and took a 7-6 lead to the locker room at the intermission. However, a fumble on the first play of the second half turned into a play that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the contest.
Although the first fumble didn't come back to bite the Miners – the Bulldogs would return the favor with a fumble back to S&T four plays later – the field position battle that came with it eventually led to the Bulldogs' go-ahead score later in the period.
With a chance to pin the Bulldogs deep in their own territory, the Miners fumbled the snap on a punt attempt at midfield to give the ball to Truman on downs. After each team went three-and-out, the Bulldogs got possession at their own 35 and went on their drive to put them into the lead.
After converting a third-and-one pass to keep the drive alive, Kurt Loyd ran 29 yards on a reverse to get to the S&T 16-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Conrad Schottel scrambled out of the pocket and picked up a first down at the Miner three, then threw a scoring pass on the next play to Dahn Kemp to put Truman up 13-7.
S&T would come up a yard short of a first down on its next possession and had to punt the ball away, then Garrett White broke loose for a 79-yard touchdown run that extended Truman's lead to 20-7.
The Bulldogs would add another score in the fourth quarter after the Miners' second lost fumble of the half at their own 31, ending on a quarterback sneak by Schottel from the one-yard line.
Buoyed by a pair of three-and-outs by the defense to start the game, the Miners put together an impressive scoring drive to get on the scoreboard first in the opening quarter.
Starting from their own 17-yard line, the Miners picked up six first downs on their way down the field – including a pair of third down conversions on passes from redshirt freshman quarterback Peter Simpson, making his first collegiate start Saturday.
Simpson hit Nick Taylor for a 12-yard completion as Taylor made a one-handed catch near the sideline in the early stages of the drive to keep it going.
Later, Simpson completed an 18-yard pass to Ben Matthews to put S&T into Truman territory, then the Miners stayed on the ground for the final eight plays of the drive that ended with Zenel Hudson's one-yard touchdown run.
The Miner defense was able to hold the Bulldogs out the end zone for the rest of the half, but the Bulldogs did have two scoring drive that ended in field goals by Derek Koon, one from 24 yards away and the other from 30.
S&T finished the afternoon with 222 yards of total offense to Truman's 306. Simpson completed 12-of-32 passes for 130 yards, four of them to Matthews for 48 yards. Hudson , who was back in the lineup after missing the last two games with an injury, led the rushers with 34 yards.
White had 112 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs, while Schottel was 16-of-28 through the air for 111 yards.
Chris Emesih and Dale Davey had nine tackles apiece to pace the Miner defense.
The Miners will play their final road game of the 2013 season next Saturday when they face William Jewell in a 1 p.m. contest in Liberty, Mo. The Cardinals picked up their first GLVC win of the year Saturday, using a late field goal to edge Quincy 19-17.