Joplin, Mo. – Missouri Southern was just two minutes from their second straight shutout to start the 2010 season. That's when the Lincoln Blue Tigers cracked the end zone, but at that point the game had long since been decided as the Lions rolled to a 38-7 win to improve to 2-0 on the season. The game was the first of the season for Lincoln.
The Missouri Southern Lions' offense started the game slow, punting on their first drive. But the Lions responded scoring on four straight possession to close the half. Their defense also started slow allowing the Blue Tigers of Lincoln University to march down the field on their opening drive. The Southern defense proved opportunistic as they pounced on an errant option pitch to stop the Blue Tigers scoring threat. The defense then held the Blue Tigers scoreless through the first 58 minutes of play.
Steven Sumpter scored from a yard out for the Lions to open the scoring in the first quarter. Sumpter would add another scoring run in the second half, his second straight game with two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Collin Howard threw a 42 yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Landon Zerkel for the second touchdown of the night. Howard then added a four yard touchdown run and Dallas Herndon knocked through a short field goal to wrap up the scoring in the first half as the Lions headed to the locker room with a 24-0 lead.
The Lions defense, after giving up 14 plays in the opening drive to Lincoln's triple option offense, then held the Blue Tigers to no more than 11 plays on any given drive.
Special teams came up big for MSSU this week with two blocked punts, one returned for a touchdown. Sophomore Desmond Bringham blocked the first punt with 1:53 left in the third quarter and Sophomore Jabarri Wesley blocked the second punt while freshman – redshirt Demon Haire scooped up the ball and returned it 30 yards for his first career touchdown.
The Lions put up 429 yards on the offensive side of the ball, 179 on the ground and 250 through the air. The Southern defensive gave up 282 yards, 221 on the ground and only 61 yards in the air. The defense came up with one fumble recovery and three sacks against the Blue Tigers. Senior linebacker Dusty Bratzler lead the way for the defense with 10 tackles, one for a loss. Sophomore defensive linemen Kenny Smith and Brandon Williams both had one sack each for a total of 19 yards.
The Lions have a bye next week before taking on the Emporia State Hornets in Emporia, Kan. on September 18th at 1pm.