ROLLA, Mo. -- In the previous 124 seasons of football at Missouri S&T, only three teams have won as many as nine games in a season, not to mention that it has been 68 years since the Miners last played in a post-season game.
On Saturday at Allgood-Bailey Stadium, the Miners are looking to secure that fourth nine-win campaign -- and hope that a post-season berth comes as a result – when the Miners play host to Truman State in a 1 p.m. contest in its regular season finale.
S&T knocked off the Bulldogs 27-11 last September in Kirksville and has won two of the last three meetings from Truman. Saturday's game will also decide who finishes second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference as both the Bulldogs and Miners bring identical 5-1 conference records into the game; Indianapolis has already clinched the outright GLVC title after its win over the Bulldogs last week.
Missouri S&T is 8-2 on the year, while Truman enters Saturday's matchup at 6-4.
It will also be Military Appreciation Day at Missouri S&T Saturday afternoon; all military personnel -- active or retired – will be admitted free along with their immediate family members with a military I.D. card. In addition, with Saturday's contest being the final home game of the 2018 season for the Miners, the senior members of the S&T roster will be honored prior to kickoff.
ABOUT THE MINERS: Missouri S&T reached the eight-win for the first time in six seasons with a strong offensive performance in the first half of a 49-20 win at McKendree last Saturday. The Miners racked up 366 yards and scored touchdowns on all five of their possessions in the opening half.
Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson) had another big day behind center for the Miners, as he opened the day with 12 straight completions and went on to connect on 24 of his 29 throws for 226 yards and four scores. Swart, who also ran for a touchdown last week, has completed 64 percent of his passes on the season for 2,343 yards with 22 touchdowns.
Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca) caught two of the four scoring passes and has a league-high 12 touchdown receptions on the year; he has caught 50 passes on the year and tops the GLVC with 849 yards in catches.
Logan Armontrout (Centralia, MO/Centralia) has caught 32 passes for 367 yards and four scores, while Josh Brown (Gainesville, FL/North Marion HS) has hauled in 29 passes for 383 yards and Justin Vaughn (Houston, TX/George Bush) has 28 receptions.
The Miners' leading rusher heading into play Saturday is Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central) with 618 yards, but S&T got big games last week from reserves Payton McAlister (Decatur, TX/Decatur) and Aaron Moya (Canutillo, TX/Canutillo) in the win. McAlister ran for a career-high 133 yards, while Moya also hit a career best with 77 yards and also scored twice.
On the defensive side of the ball, S&T is paced by linebackers Landon Compton(Lamar, MO/Lamar) and Bo Brooks (Canutillo, TX/Canutillo), as Comption has a team-high 84 tackles and Brooks, who has made 72 stops, leads the GLVC with 16.5 tackles for a loss. Brooks also has 8.5 sacks on the year, while Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City) has five. Safety Justin Onwugbufor (Maize, KS/Northwest) has been in on 57 stops this season.
The Miners have another league leader on the defensive side in cornerback Roderick Chapman (Los Angeles, CA/Jefferson), who has four interceptions and 19 passes defended.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Truman State fell short in its bid to take over the lead in the GLVC standings last week, as the Bulldogs allowed 31 straight points after scoring first and fell 31-7 to Indianapolis. The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the Bulldogs, who are tied with S&T for second place at 5-1 in conference play.
Quarterback Jaden Barr completed 19-of-30 passes a week ago for 123 yards and has connected on 57 percent of his throws this season for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns. Barr's leading target has been Dante Ruffin with 26 catches for 243 yards, while CJ Brown has caught 15 passes for 1623 yards. Tight end Jake Ellis has five touchdown receptions among his seven catches.
Barr is also the Bulldogs' leading rusher with 912 yards on the year, a total that ranks third in the GLVC and first among quarterbacks to pace the conference's second-best rushing attack at 216.9 yards per game. Jordan Salima has rushed for 588 yards and five scores, while Rolla High School product Andy Satulla has 461 yards and five scores as well.
Truman's leaders in tackles are safeties Wyatt Fishel and Jordan Siegel with 58 stops apiece, while another member of the Bulldog secondary, Lawrence Woods, is one of the GLVC's most dangerous special teams performers. Woods has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns this year and leads NCAA Division II with an average of 48.6 yards per kickoff return.