The Missouri S&T football team capped off their regular season this past Saturday in a high scoring slugfest against the McKendree Bearcats at Allgood-Bailey stadium. The game ended with over 100 points scored and nearly 1000 total yards between the two GLVC opponents. The win moved the Miners to 7-3 on the season and pushed them above .500 in conference play at 4-3.
The Miners opened up the scoring two minutes into the game when Deshawn Jones punched in a goal line run to take an early lead. McKendree tied it up when Jace Franklin cashed in on a 7-yard run to complete an 83-yard drive. A minute later, Payton McAlister broke off a big 33-yard run for a touchdown to retake the lead for the Miners. The Bearcats wasted no time responding though, as quarterback Turner Pullen connected with Steven Towns for a 75-yard touchdown just 23 seconds after the S&T score. However, the second quarter was all S&T as they put up three touchdowns and allowed none. Just over a minute in, Deshawn Jones grabbed his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run to take a 21-14 lead. After ten minutes with no scoring from either side, Aaron Moya got in on the action with a goal line rushing touchdown. With a minute and a half left before halftime, Miners receiver Logan Armontrout ran a trick play on a reverse and threw a 40-yard touchdown to Austin Griffin. The Miners closed out the half with a 35-14 lead, but the Bearcats would not go down without a fight.
McKendree quarterback Turner Pullen scored on a three-yard run to make it 35-21. S&T kicker Ben Styron hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 38-21. Bearcats running back ended the third quarter scoring with a 4-yard run to cut the lead to 10. The fourth quarter was when what looked like an easy win was turned on its head. Deshawn Jones got his third rushing touchdown to give S&T a 44-28 cushion, but the next ten minutes saw McKendree come clawing back. On the first play following Jones’ touchdown, McKendree’s Michael Smith returned the kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown. Minutes later, Turner Pullen passed to Matt Cole for a 23-yard score that brought them back to within a possession. With 6:58 remaining, Jace Franklin scored on a 12-yard run to tie the game for the Bearcats. Needing a big play, Luke Hertzler hit Payton McAlister for a 47-yard touchdown to regain the lead. With time expiring, Turner Pullen scored on a QB-sneak, but the two-point conversion failed when Matt Cole could not hang on to the pass. The Miners held on for the 51-50 win.
S&T edged McKendree in total yards with 510 to their 457. Brennan Simms had 90 passing yards and a touchdown in a game that saw four different players complete a pass for the Miners. Logan Armontrout had one pass for 40 yards and a touchdown, Dontay White had 24 yards, and Luke Hertzler had 132 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Miners usual trio of running backs all got in on the action once again, with Deshawn Jones leading the pack with 147 yards and three touchdowns. Aaron Moya added 41 yards and a touchdown while Payton McAlister had 34 yards. McAlister’s main contribution came through the air in this one, as he racked up 130 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Armontrout added 53 yards while Austin Griffin had 40 yards and a touchdown.
The win gave the Miners their third straight seven-win season and also pushed them above .500 in GLVC play.