A long night of football, one that included two delays, ended successfully for Missouri S&T as a solid all-around effort led to a 27-11 win over defending league co-champion Truman State in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener for both teams.
It was a game that was delayed for two hours and 45 minutes at the start due to lightning, then stopped again for another 16 minutes in the third quarter when the stadium lights went out in the middle of a Miner running play. The game started at 9:45 p.m. due to the early delays and ended a few minutes short of 1 a.m. with the Miners in the win column for the first time in 2017.
The Miners broke on top early in the second quarter when Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca)scored on a reverse from 25 yards away to complete a 79-yard scoring drive. Graham scored again later in the quarter to extend the Miner lead, following a big third down catch by Logan Armontrout(Centralia, MO/Centralia) and a 24-yard run by Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central), as he hauled in a five-yard scoring pass from Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson).
Truman, which was held to 85 yards of total offense in the first half by the Miner defense, got on the scoreboard late in the first half on Danny Spencer's 42-yard field goal, but missed a 40-yard attempt late in the half to keep the score at 13-3 at the intermission.
Early in the third quarter, the Bulldogs threatened after Dan Ziegler completed a 40-yard pass to Jordan Jorgenson to the S&T 29-yard line, but three plays later, Ryan Kirkendall (Silsbee, TX/Silsbee)stepped in front of Jorgenson for an interception to halt that drive.
Later in the period – following the power outage at Stokes Stadium – the Miners converted a fourth-and-one by the nose of the ball on a quarterback sneak by Swart and two plays later, Swart connected with Logan Armontrout (Centralia, MO/Centralia) for a 16-yard scoring pass to push the Miner lead to 20-3.
A turnover by the Miners, however, set the Bulldogs up at the S&T 28 early in the fourth quarter and they took advantage of it by reaching the end zone for the first time in the game.
Jared Bahr, who entered the game at quarterback following Kirkendall's interception, threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Salima on a fourth down play, then the Bulldogs converted a two-point conversion to cut the S&T lead to nine with 11:56 remaining.
However, S&T answered right back and pushed the lead back to 16 as Jones raced 36 yards for a score with just under eight minutes to go, then the defense got two sacks on the next Truman possession as the Bulldogs lost the ball on downs.
The Miners outgained the Bulldogs 421-236, gaining 205 of them on the ground behind a career-high 152 from Jones. Swart completed 16-of-26 passes for 216 yards and the two scores.
S&T's defense held the Bulldogs (0-3, 0-1 GLVC) to just 11-of-38 passing, getting an interception from Roderick Chapman (Los Angeles, CA/Jefferson) to go along with Kirkendall's and also got three sacks in the game, two by Landon Compton (Lamar, MO/Lamar) and one by Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City), who recorded seven tackles in the game. Bo Brooks (Canutillo, TX/Canutillo) led S&T with eight stops.
The Miners will head back on the road next Saturday, as they face Malone in Canton, Ohio in a 3 p.m. (Eastern time) contest.