Kirksville, Mo. -- The Truman State Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead into halftime and didn't look back, defeating visiting Missouri Southern, 23-6 today at Stokes Stadium in Kirksville.
Southern (2-5, 0-5 MIAA) loses for the 15th time against the Bulldogs overall and tenth time in Kirksville.
The Lions were led offensively by Roland Thompson as the senior started the second half and went 10-17 for 165 yards and a touchdown. Landon Zerkel caught 11 passes for 140 yards, while Ne'Ronte Threatt and Kellen Cox had 35 and 36 yards, respectively, with Cox catching the Lions' lone score late in the fourth.
Truman (3-4, 1-4 MIAA) got a 12-16 performance from quarterback Philip Davis as he threw for 189 yards in the air. Harnish Ayora had the lone offensive touchdown as the Bulldogs added three field goals and an interception return for a score.
The Bulldogs handled all the scoring in the first half, as neither team found the end zone, but Truman had two field goals from Derek Koon, one from 28 and another from 41 yards, to take a 6-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Truman made the score 9-0 after another field goal from Koon, this one a 27-yarder with 3:26 left in the third.
The Lions were threatening late in the third quarter, but after a 17-yard pass and catch from Thompson to Cornell Gedward to the Truman 28 yard line, the ball was fumbled and Truman recovered as time expired in the quarter.
Following that turnover, Truman converted a perfect play-action pass for 66 yards from Davis to Dallas Grier to the Lions' three yard line. Two plays later, the Bulldogs punched it in to make the score 16-0 after the extra point.
Another fumble by the Lions gave Truman the ball on the Southern 32-yard line with 13:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs drove and attempted a 37-yard field goal, but the kick was wide left.
Southern drove to the Truman 32 yard line, but turned the ball over on downs, however on the first play of the ensuing Bulldog drive, the snap was over Davis' head and the Lions recovered at the TSU nine-yard line. Thompson rushed to the four-yard line, but on the next play, his pass was intercepted in the end zone and the Bulldogs took over on their own 20-yard line.
After a Truman punt, the Lions took over on the Truman 49 yard line. Two passes from Thompson, a 19-yarder to Zerkel and a 30-yarder to Cox resulted in the Lions' first score of the game. Southern tried the two-point conversion, but the pass was incomplete.
An interception return for a touchdown by Truman sealed the game for the Bulldogs with 44 seconds left.
The Lions will be back in action next weekend as they play host to Missouri Western at 6 pm in Hughes Stadium.