JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Northeastern State football dropped a 42-33 decision to Lincoln University Saturday afternoon at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
The RiverHawks fell to 1-9 overall and 1-8 in the MIAA, while the Blue Tigers (2-8, 1-8 MIAA) earned their first win in conference play this season.
The teams exchanged punts to start the game, and it was the RiverHawks who would get on the board first. Sophomore quarterback Thor Long capped an 84-yard drive with a 12-yard strike to redshirt freshman wide receiver Tank Richmond for his second of the season with 7:50 to play in the first quarter.
Senior kicker Drew Patton missed the PAT, which would prove costly as the Blue Tigers would take a 7-6 lead on the ensuing drive as Morris Henderson housed a 38-yard screen pass from Jacob Morris.
Patton made up for his missed extra point with a 25-yard field goal to give NSU a 9-7 lead after the first quarter of play, but Morris found Khiry Draine less than a minute into the second quarter to put the home team back on top 14-9.
Morris threw his third TD of the game with 7:27 left in the second quarter when he connected with Andre Borney on a slant pattern from 25 yards out.
Junior running back Terrance Dixon capped an 8-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard run at 4:26, and Patton nailed a 31-yard FG with 56 ticks left on the clock to cut Lincoln’s halftime advantage to 21-19. Dixon scored his eighth touchdown in his last nine games.
Northeastern State jumped right back on top to start the second half, as a Dixon nine-yard carry – combined with a failed two-point conversion attempt – put the visitors ahead 25-21.
Lincoln would then take firm control proceedings as the home team scored 21 unanswered points. A four-yard run by Henderson right before the end of the third quarter gave the Blue Tigers a 28-25 edge, and Morris hooked up with Draine again early in the fourth to give LU what would be an insurmountable 35-25 lead. Henderson sealed the game with another four-yard carry with 3:37 to play.
Sophomore running back Steven Hopper scored with 1:48 to go – and NSU got the two-point conversion – but it only made the final score a more-respectable nine-point outcome.
NSU hit the 400-yard mark for the second-straight game and finished with a season-high 455 yards. The team had 201 yards passing and 254 yards rushing. The Blue Tigers posted 464 yards of total offense, with 212 coming through the air and 252 coming on the ground.
Long finished 18-for-36 passing for 201 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 16 times for 106 yards, marking the first time in his career he has rushed for triple digits. Dixon added 19 carries for 79 yards and two scores, and Richmond had six catches for 70 yards and a score.
Morris finished 17-for-23 passing for 212 yards and four touchdowns, and he also carried the ball 14 times for 102 yards. Henderson had 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and he also registered three receptions for 42 yards and a score. Draine finished with five catches for 96 yards and two scores.
True freshman linebacker Kenneth Davis led the defense with a career-high 11 tackles.
Neither team turned the ball over.
Northeastern State will play host to rival Central Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 in the season finale.