ROLLA, Mo. – After withstanding a trio of weather delays Saturday night, Missouri S&T could not hold off a second half surge by Indianapolis as the 22nd-ranked Greyhounds rallied for a 24-17 win in a key Great Lakes Valley Conference contest at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.
Al McKellar dashed 19 yards for the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-one play with 1:43 remaining, then the Miners were stopped on downs after reaching the UIndy 24-yard line on their final possession to end a game that concluded at 12:27 a.m. as the result of three hours and seven minutes of delays due to lightning.
The Greyhounds (4-1, 3-0 GLVC) took the initial lead in the contest with a 71-yard drive that lasted just over seven minutes, which ended with a 20-yard field goal by Paul Buisman. After each team swapped possessions, the Miners (4-2, 1-1 GLVC) got the first big play of the game that propelled them to the first touchdown of the night.
Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca) took a punt at his own 20-yard line and scooted through the Greyhound punt team before finally being knocked off balance by the punter Buisman at the UIndy 21-yard line. Two plays after Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson) completed a pass to Justin Vaughn(Houston, TX/George Bush) to the get the ball to the one-yard, Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central) scored to give S&T a 7-3 lead.
Later in the quarter, the Miners halted a Greyhound drive on a sack by Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City) to force a field goal attempt, which was blocked by Josh Lowden (Monrovia, CA/Monrovia) to give the ball back to S&T. The Miners -- who had just 104 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes – followed that with their longest drive of the half to extend their lead.
S&T got into UIndy territory on a 28-yard completion from Swart to Payton McAlister (Decatur, TX/Decatur), then a 16-yard completion to Graham got the Miners into the red zone. Graham caught another pass to give S&T a first down inside the five and Jones followed that with his second touchdown run of the night from three yards out to provide the Miners an 11-point lead they would take to halftime.
Following the second delay early in the third quarter, the Miners got the ball at the UIndy 25 following a shanked punt, but the Miners failed to capitalize on the chance as Swart had a pass intercepted in the end zone by Blake Luker.
The Greyhounds began driving up the field after the interception and after another weather delay halted play for 53 minutes, they picked up where they left off and completed the drive with a four-yard touchdown run by Toriano Clinton.
UIndy used its ground game to drive for another score when it got the ball back after an S&T punt, as quarterback Jake Purichia followed runs of 21 yards by McKeller and 14 by Clinton with a four-yard scoring run that gave the Greyhounds the lead at 17-14.
Josh Brown (Gainesville, FL/North Marion HS) returned the ensuing kickoff for what appeared to be a touchdown, but it was called back due to an illegal block just past midfield. S&T did drive to the UIndy five after three runs totaling 40 yards by Peyton McAlister, but the Miners had to settle for a game-tying 31-yard field goal from Ben Styron (Harrisonville, MO/Harrisonville) with 7:11 to play.
However, the Greyhounds drove back down the field, getting a key conversion on third-and-eight when Purichia found Malik Higgins just past the first down marker. They would score the game-winning touchdown later in the drive on the fourth down play on the run by McKeller, who finished with a game-high 166 yards.
UIndy appeared to have locked up the win when Mitch Dewitt picked off a Brennan Simms (Punta Gorda, FL/Charlotte) pass at midfield, but the Greyhounds were called for roughing the passer to keep the possession with the Miners. Simms got a first down on a scramble with less than a minute to go to the UIndy 26, but the drive and hopes for a victory ended with three incomplete passes, including two to the end zone in the final seconds.
The Greyhounds outgained the Miners by a 448-to-252 margin, doing most of the damage on the ground with 303 yards on the night. Swart and Simms combined to go 14-of-22 through the air for 182 yards, with Vaughn leading the way with seven receptions.
Justin Onwugbufor (Maize, KS/Northwest) had 10 tackles to lead the Miners, while Dontay White(Florissant, MO/Hazelwood Central) and Bo Brooks (Canutillo, TX/Canutillo) were in on nine apiece. The Miners recorded two sacks in the contest as well.
Missouri S&T will play at home again next Saturday, as it hosts William Jewell for Homecoming. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.