A slow start proved to be costly to Missouri S&T in its season opener Thursday night, as a second half comeback effort fell short in a 40-27 loss to Chadron State at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.
The visiting Eagles had the ball for better than 20 minutes of the first half and built a 17-0 lead in the process, then extended that advantage to 31 before the Miners scored 27 of the game’s final 36 points.
Chadron State scored on the game’s opening possession on a 33-yard field goal by Randy Wentz and was driving for another potential score before Austin Truvillion (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill) recovered a fumble by Cody Paul to halt that drive.
However, the Eagles reached the end zone on back-to-back possessions early in the second quarter, getting touchdowns on a one-yard by Derek Jackson and a three-yard scoring pass from TD Stein to Kyle Vinich.
The Eagles accumulated 268 yards in the first half to 96 for the Miners, as S&T had the ball for only 8:51 of the game’s first 30 minutes.
An interception by Cole Montgomery in S&T territory on the Miners’ first possession of the second half set up the second of Jackson’s three touchdown runs; his third with 5:43 left in the third quarter gave the Eagles their 31-point lead.
The Miners got on the scoreboard the next time they got the ball, as on a third-and-one play, Chris Kennard (Plano, Texas/Parish Episcopal) broke past the line of scrimmage into an open secondary and raced 42 yards for a touchdown. S&T scored again on its next possession early in the fourth quarter as Dalton Major (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bishop McNamara) crashed over from the three to cut the lead to 31-13 as a two-point conversion attempt failed.
Following a 34-yard field goal by Wentz, the Miners scored again on an 85-yard drive that culminated with a seven-yard scoring run by quarterback Lamar Wilkes (Maryland Heights, Mo./Pattonville). But following an onside kick that the Eagles recovered, Paul raced 48 yards for a touchdown on the next play to push the Chadron lead to 40-20.
S&T scored in the final minute when reserve quarterback Tyler Swart (Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson) threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alonzo Vang (Fresno, Calif./Clovis East).
Although the Miners racked up 267 yards of total offense in the second half, they were outgained 484-363 by the Eagles in the contest. Wilkes threw for 186 yards with six of his 17 completions going to Braxton Graham (Seneca, Mo./Seneca), while Kennard led the Miner rushing attack, which finished with 150 yards, with 46.
Chadron State got 132 yards from Paul as it ran for 278 in the contest, while Stein completed 17-of-26 passes for 206 yards.
Linebacker Nate Brown (Webb City, Mo./Webb City) led the Miners on defense with eight tackles, while Landon Compton (Lamar, Mo./Lamar) and Rob Cidlik (Eureka, Mo./Eureka) had seven apiece.
The Miners will hit the road for the next two weeks, beginning with a Sept. 12 contest at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Story courtesy: John Kean, Miner Athletics