Oct. 22, 2011
MACOMB, Ill. - Missouri State quarterback Trevor Wooden has a game-high 82 rushing yards on seven carries, and the Bears lead homestanding Western Illinois, 14-10, at the half here in Missouri Valley Football Conference action.
MSU is looking to snap a 12-game road losing streak of their own and an eight-game home winning streak by the Leathernecks.
The game started with some fireworks as Western Illinois' Larry Patterson returned the opening kick 90 yards to paydirt to give the Leathernecks an early 7-0 lead 12 seconds into the game. However, the Bears retaliated quickly with a 74-yard scoring drive of their own. Trevor Wooden carried four times for 61 yards on the nine-play possession and capped the series with a 14-yard touchdown run to tie the contest, 7-7.
The Bears forced the Leathernecks to punt after three plays on their next possession and took over on the MSU 38. MSU drove all the way to the WIU three-yard line before settling for a 21-yard field goal attempt by Austin Witmer, which missed wide left to keep the game knotted, 7-7.
On the first drive of the second quarter, Western followed suit by driving from their own 20 to the MSU 11 before a missed 34-yard field goal by Pat Smith maintained the tie. The miss spoiled a 31-yard pass completion from Josh Hudson to Justin Morgan early in the 17-play drive and negated a fourth-and-one conversion at the Bears' 12 that put WIU on the doorstep of a go-ahead score.
Taking over on their own 20 with 10:12 left in the second, the Bears missed another scoring opportunity. A 36-yard completion from Wooden to Matt Thayer on the first play moved the ball to the WIU 44. The Bears continued the drive to the 36, but could not convert another first down. Witmer came on for a 42-yard field goal try and missed it wide left with 7:28 left in the opening half.
On the very next play, Hudson was sacked by Mikel Ruder, forcing the ball loose and recovered by Nate Davis at the Western 20-yard line. MSU wasted little time taking the lead as Wooden hit Saffold in stride at the three-yard line, and he fell across the goal line for the score. Witmer's PAT made it 14-7 Bears with 7:19 to play.
The teams exchanged punts from there, and WIU took over on its own 14 with 3:33 to play in the second. Fourteen plays later, the Leathernecks converted a 21-yard field goal as time expired when Smith split the uprights to cap the 82-yard drive and make it a 14-10 game at the intermission.
Hudson was 9-for-18 in the opening half for 109 yards, including three completions to Charles Chestnut and Bryce Flowers. WIU has 160 total yards and is 6-for-10 on third down conversions.
The Bears have controlled the clock for 16:34 and outgained WIU 211-160. Wooden is 4-for-5 through the air for 78 yards and 160 yards of total offense. Saffold has two receptions for 31 yards.