Western rewind: Leathernecks surrender most points since 2011, fall to Missouri St.

Western Illinois defensive back Jalen McKie tackles Missouri State running back Jacardia Wright in the open field Saturday. (Photo by MissouriStateBears.com)

By Barry Bottino

A week ago, Western Illinois led for the first time in a game this season.

On Saturday, the Leathernecks fell victim to a powerful Missouri State offense as the Bears ran away for a 64-14 Missouri Valley Football Conference victory. MSU scored on its first 10 possessions to pile up their most points in a game since 1992.

Western (0-8 overall, 0-5 MVFC) lost its 10th consecutive game dating back to last season and fell behind 17-0 after one quarter and 45-7 at halftime.

The Leathernecks gave up 597 total yards on the day and the most points in a game since losing 69-0 to Missouri on Sept. 17, 2011.

Missouri State improved to 3-5 and won its first MVFC game of the season in five tries.

Western scored its first touchdown early in the second quarter on a fake field goal, when holder Jack Beulke threw an 8-yard touchdown to tight end Nathan Karsjens.

Missouri State scored 38 unanswered points before Western quarterback Clay Bruno threw a 48-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Naseim Brantley to make the score 58-14.

Game changers

8:07, 1st quarter: Missouri State QB Jason Shelley connected on a 54-yard deep pass to Raylen Sharpe to move the ball to WIU’s 14. The Bears scored three plays later for a 10-0 lead.

0:15, 2nd quarter: With WIU near midfield, Bruno threw an interception. Two plays later, the Bears scored on a 25-yard TD pass to take a 45-7 halftime lead.

2:38, 3rd quarter: Jose Pizano’s 25-yard field goal marked the 10th consecutive drive that Missouri State scored points to open the game.

What it means

Any momentum the Leathernecks gained from last week’s 28-27 home loss to Youngstown was vanquished in the opening half.

Nifty ‘Necks

Prairie State Pigskin chooses the top three Leatherneck players in the game:

Brantley: One of the nation’s leaders in touchdown catches and yards per game, the graduate student caught a game-high six passes for 120 yards and a TD.

Juan DelaCruz, LB: The junior linebacker had a career-high 11 tackles for Western.

Cole Watts, DL: Among his five tackles, the graduate student had 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

What’s next?

The Leathernecks host defending national champion North Dakota State at 1 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: