Despite its best offensive showing in nearly three years, Missouri State dropped a 41-38 thriller to Murray State Saturday evening at Roy Stewart Stadium. Murray’s Walter Powell hauled in his fourth touchdown reception of the game with 24 seconds left in regulation to cap a wild second half that featured seven lead changes.

After Missouri State rallied to take the lead twice in the fourth quarter, the Racers delivered the deciding blow with a 12-play, 75-yard drive to send the Bears to their third-straight 0-3 start to a season. On fourth-and-10 from the Missouri State 15, Powell caught quarterback Maikhail Miller’s fifth touchdown pass of the contest, out-leaping a Bears’ defender in the corner of the end zone to put the Racers on top for good. 

The Bears’ last-ditch effort to pull out their first victory came up empty, as Kierra Harris’s first pass attempt on MSU’s ensuing drive was picked off by John Therrell at the Murray 44, effectively sealing the win for the home team.

Despite the setback, Missouri State piled up 578 yards of total offense, representing its biggest output since its last trip to Murray on Oct. 9, 2010, when it combined with the Racers’ on a then-FCS record 1,423 total yards. Senior running back Vernon Scott racked up a career-best 189 rushing yards on 25 carries this time around, marking the best rushing day for a Bear since Chris Douglas totaled 191 yards three years ago against the Racers. Additionally, MSU’s 34 first downs equaled the fourth-best single-game total in school history.

The Bears conclude their non-conference slate next Saturday (Sept. 21) when they host nationally-ranked UCA at Plaster Field. Missouri State’s “Salute to America” game kicks off at 6 p.m.

Story courtesy of Missouri State Athletics