FHSU blows big lead on the road at Central Missouri
Fort Hays State held a 27-0 lead over Central Missouri midway through the second quarter on Saturday (Nov. 9) in Warrensburg, Mo., but Central Missouri rallied for 41 unanswered points and defeated the Tigers 48-34. The loss snapped Fort Hays State's five-game win streak.
The Fort Hays State offense was firing on all cylinders early in the game. FHSU took the opening drive 71 yards, capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keaton Callins from Treveon Albert. The extra-point failed and FHSU led 6-0.
On the ensuing Central Missouri drive, a botched snap on a 21-yard field goal attempt led to an incomplete pass and no points for the Mules. FHSU took advantage of the miscue and marched 97 yards for another touchdown, this time a 35-yard pass from Albert to Ed Williams, making it 13-0.
The Tigers stopped the Mules on fourth down once again deep in FHSU territory and then pushed its lead to 20-0 on an Albert 4-yard touchdown pass to Williams to cap an 84-yard drive. FHSU forced a fumble on the ensuing kick return, got the ball back, and then made it 27-0 on a Treveon Albert two-yard run. The Tigers looked in total control with 8:17 remaining in the first half.
Central Missouri got momentum shifted in its favor when it got a 49-yard return on the next kickoff, setting up a short field for its offense. UCM punched its first touchdown in with 6:42 remaining in the opening half, making it 27-7. The Mules forced a 3-and-out on the next Tiger possession, then marched down the field all the way to the FHSU 1-yardline. This was a huge turning point in the game.
The FHSU defense held UCM out of the endzone for three straight plays, but finally on fourth down, the Mules got a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-14 just before halftime. FHSU had a chance at more points, but a long pass to the endzone to Ed Williams was broken up by the UCM defender, or else it would have been six more for the Tigers.
The Mules kept the pressure on by coming out of halftime and scoring a touchdown quickly to make it 27-21 and the Fort Hays State offense started to struggle for the remainder of the third quarter. The Mules completed the big comeback to take the lead 28-27 with 1:17 remaining in the third.
FHSU had the ball back two more times on offense and could not get anything going before another Central Missouri touchdown, a 52-yard pass to make it 35-27. After Treveon Albert had a pass intercepted, UCM took advantage of the short field for another touchdown to make it 41-27 with 7:30 remaining in the game.
The Tiger offense finally pushed down the field and Albert found Callins on a 4-yard touchdown pass to pull FHSU within seven at 41-34. But, UCM crushed any hope of a Tiger comeback with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by LaVance Taylor. That made the eventual final score of 48-34.
Albert finished with a season-high 313 passing yards and four touchdowns, completing 21-of-40 passes. Andre Smith led FHSU in rushing with 88 yards and Keaton Callins had 149 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Justin McPhail and Micheal Terry led the Tiger defense each with nine tackles. Micheal Jordan recorded an interception for FHSU.
Hayden Hawk threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns for Central Missouri. LaVance Taylor led the Mule rushing game with 80 yards and Ronrei Lloyd finished with 111 receiving yards. Alex Perlin led UCM in tackles with nine and recorded one interception.
Fort Hays State, now 5-5 overall and 3-5 MIAA, looks for a winning season when it hosts Nebraska-Kearney next Saturday (Nov. 16) in Hays at 2 pm.