CANTON, Ohio – Saturday's game did not start out well for Missouri S&T, but once the Miners got rolling on the offensive side of the ball, there was little to stop them for the rest of the afternoon.
After spotting Malone a 14-0 lead in the opening period, the Miners rallied to grab the lead in the final minute of the first half and rolled to a 48-21 non-conference win over the Pioneers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Miners used the third-best offensive performance in school history to pull away – 605 total yards – and had all but 32 of those yards after falling behind by two touchdowns in the first 12-plus minutes of action.
The Pioneers began their second possession of the day at their own four-yard line after a Miner punt, then following an 11-yard run by Jayvon Hilton, Malone quarterback John Iacucci completed a pass over the top of the S&T defense to Ashton Dulin who took it to the end zone after a Miner defender stumbled in pursuit.
On Malone's next possession, another long pass to Dulin covering 54 yards put the Pioneers at the Miners' seven-yard line. The Pioneers then scored on fourth down from inside the one as Xavier Garland was initially stopped, but his second effort took him into the end zone to give Malone a 14-0 lead.
S&T's offense then came to life after the second score, as it answered right back with a 73-yard drive that was capped by a 25-yard touchdown run by Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central) as he cut through the Malone defense to reach the end zone with 33 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. The drive included a 26-yard completion to Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca) to get the Miners into Malone territory and they scored three plays later.
Swart tied the game on the Miners' next trip down the field, set up by a 19-yard punt return by Graham to put the ball in Malone territory, as he fired a 21-yard scoring pass to Logan Armontrout (Centralia, MO/Centralia) in the back of the end zone.
With 3:22 to go in the half, the Miners grabbed their first lead of the day when Jones ran 43 yards for a score, but the Pioneers tied it back up with 1:23 left before halftime when Iacucci connected with Dulin – who set a Malone single game record with 235 receiving yards – for a 53-yard score.
But the Miners went right back down the field and following a 35-yard run by D'Luis West (Troup, TX/Troup) and a 23-yard completion to Jones to reach the red zone, Swart tossed a two-yard scoring pass to Austin Griffin (West Palm Beach, FL/Oxbridge Academy) with 12 seconds to play to give the Miners a 28-21 halftime advantage.
The second half was all Missouri S&T.
The Miners took the second half kickoff and marched 75 yards on seven plays, highlighted by a 58-yard completion by Swart to Justin Vaughn (Houston, TX/George Bush), setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Swart to give S&T a two-touchdown lead. Later in the quarter, the Miners got a stop on a fourth-and-one when Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City) got to Iacucci in the backfield for a loss, setting up an S&T possession that would end with a 36-yard field goal by Ben Styron (Harrisonville, MO/Harrisonville).
S&T added to its lead when Swart connected with Lamar Wilkes (Maryland Heights, MO/Pattonville)for a six-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter, then got another field goal from Styron from 38 yards away to complete the scoring.
For the second week in succession, the Miners finished the game with over 200 yards on the ground as they ran for 222; Jones matched his career high in rushing yards that he established a week earlier with 152 in the contest.
Swart completed 24-of-34 passes for 367 yards – just seven shy of his career high – and in the process became just the fifth quarterback in Miner history to surpass the 4,000-yard mark for a career. He completed seven of those passes to Graham and another six to Vaughn for 110 yards in a game where nine Miners caught passes.
Austin Truvillion (Kansas City, MO/Park Hill) led the Miner defense with 10 tackles which included one of S&T's three sacks, while Wharton was in on six stops with a sack and a forced fumble. Ashton Smith (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley) had the third sack for the Miners, who held the Pioneers to just 77 of their 345 total yards in the second half.
The victory was the Miners' first in a non-conference road game since the final game of the 2012 season when S&T won at South Dakota School of Mines.
The Miners return to Great Lakes Valley Conference action next Saturday when they face William Jewell in a 1 p.m. contest in Liberty, Mo.