Southeast Missouri Gains Program's Biggest Win Ever
Murfreesboro, Tenn. (September 28, 2002) - The Southeast Missouri State Football team gained possibly the program's biggest win ever tonight as the toppled the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro by the score of 24-14. The win marked the first-ever over a D-1A opponent for Southeast.
Middle scored first, but it was all Southeast for the rest of the game. After a 1-yard run by Middle quarterback Andrico Hines, Southeast rolled off ten unanswered points to put forth a 10-7 halftime lead.
Scoring first for the Tribe was Chuck McElroy on a two yard pass from quarterback Jack Tomco. Earlier in the drive Tomco connected with receiver Willie Ponder for a 46-yard reception to move the Indians into Blue Raider territory. The drive was for 92 yards in nine plays and took up 4:17 off the game clock.
Southeast took the lead with 7:51 left in the half as after a 61-yard drive stalled at the Blue Raider 27-yard line Kicker Derek Kutz stepped up and booted through a 44-yard field goal. The kick was the second-longest of his career as the sophomore proved his worth in the game, kicking field goals, kickoffs, and punting, as well. The drive took 6:22 off the game clock and put the Tribe on top at halftime.
Coming out of the half, the scoring stalled until 4:29 left in the third as MT running back RaShard Lee took the ball and ran 19-yards for a score, giving the Blue Raiders a short-lived 14-10 lead.
Southeast came right back and with 11:51 left in the game as Tomco hooked up with receiver Tariq Simpson on a 17-yard pass on an 80 yard drive. Southeast now led 17-14 and had all the momentum.
The nail in the coffin came as running back Keike Misipeka took a hand off deep in Southeast territory and ran off tackle and didn't stop. He lumbered 78-yards for the touchdown capping an 80-yard scoring drive. Kutz added the extra point and the Tribe was up by ten points with a little over four minutes to go in the game.
Southeast stopped the next drive of the Blue Raiders and got the ball back with just under two minutes remaining. Tomco ran out the clock and the Indians won for the first time-ever against a Division 1-A Football team.
The Indians led in almost every statistical category for the second-straight week in a row. They out rushed the Blue Raiders 203-151, and out passed Middle 204-133. Total yards were in the Tribe's favor as well, in 407-284. They led the time of possession battle 32:55 to 27:05 and sacked the Blue Raiders four times. Southeast converted 10 of 16 third down tries.
The Indian defense was the star of the game. They allowed only 284 yards to a team the caliber of Middle. They sacked Middle Quarterback Andrico Hines four times. Linebacker Ricky Farmer had two of those sacks for 11 yards. James Jennette and Caleb Daniel had the other two sacks. OJ Turner had a huge interception as the defense stepped up and set the standard for the offense.
Misipeka was the star offensively for the Tribe as he had 144 yards on 15 carries for a 9.6 yard per carry average. He had the long rush of 78 yards. Corey Kinsey had 60 yards rushing of his own.
Tomco completed 14 of 23 passes for 204 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Willie ponder led the receiving corps with 87 yards on four catches. Simpson had 57 yards on two catches and Chris NesSmith had 33 yards on three catches.
Southeast finally comes home to the friendly confines of Houck Stadium next Saturday as they play host to the Tennessee State Tigers. The game will open up OVC play and will be Family Weekend. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.