Pittsburg State scores 16 unanswered to defeat Lions 26-14 in Sonic Miners Bowl
Joplin, Mo. -- Pittsburg State scored 16 unanswered points in the second half and came-from-behind to defeat the Missouri Southern football team, 26-14 in the Sonic Miners Bowl today at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.
Southern (6-5, 5-5 MIAA) fell behind early after an eight-yard touchdown run from PSU's (7-3, 7-3 MIAA) John Brown gave the Gorillas a 7-0 lead with 3:34 left in the first.
The Lions, however, didn't waste any time getting on the board when Ne'Ronte Threatt took the first play from scrimmage on the next drive and went 75 yards to paydirt to tie the game at seven after the extra point.
Pitt added a 28-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the half to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room.
Southern started quick after the break as Threatt capped a four-play, 75-yard drive with a three yard touchdown run to put the Lions up 14-10 with 12:51 left in the third quarter.
From there, it was all Pitt. The Gorillas' Luke Rampy scored from 44 yards out on a run to cap a six-play drive and Connor Frazell added his second field goal of the day, this time from 22, for the eventual game-winning score. Pitt added another late touchdown to put the game away.
Threatt led the Lions offensively with 11 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Kellen Cox rushed for 18 yards and threw for 37 on 4-7 passing. Landon Zerkel caught all four of the passes from Cox today.
Defensively, Aaron Hall led all players with 11 tackles, five solo. Jonathan Rogers had nine tackles and a forced fumble, while Brandon Williams had nine stops, three for a loss of 12 yards, a forced fumble, pass break up and two sacks. Michael Burks had an interception, while Alex Wong and Ryon Phillips had a half sack each.
As a team, the Lions rushed for 218 yards today, and went over 3,000 yards on the season to finish with 3,043, increasing the team record they set last week. Southern also set another record for rushing attempts in a season with 581, breaking the previous high of 563, while tying a school record with 32 rushing touchdowns.
Zerkel is second all-time in career pass receptions (196) at Southern. His 2,866 career receiving yards rank second all-time and he finishes just 285 behind Rod Smith for tops in that category. His 19 career receiving touchdowns rank third all-time.
Ne'Ronte Threatt finishes his career as one of the best dual threats in Lions history. His 59 receptions in 2010 rank seventh in a single season at Southern, while his 763 receiving yards that year rank eighth in a single season. Last season against Fort Hays, Threat had 10 catches for 225 yards which rank as the second-most receiving yards in a single game in Southern history. Adding to that, he had 172 and 144 yards on the ground in his final two games this year.
Brandon Williams finishes his career as the all-time sack king at Southern. His two sacks today give him 27 in his career. He has three of the top ten and two of the top four single-season sack marks in Southern history.
The Lions finish the year 6-5 and earn their second winning season in the last five years.