TSU Tigers Football returned back to Alexander Durley Stadium for the first time since 2008 to host Missouri S&T. The Tigers have gotten off to a rough start on the year at 0-5 and looked to get their first win of the year at Homecoming. This was the final non-conference game fo the year for the Tigers.
The Miners are a Division II program that plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. They are coached by first-year head man, Todd Drury. He got his team off to a 4-1 start, 2-0 in conference play and was looking to improve on that mark.
It was the first taste of Fall in Houston and the house was packed in anticipation of a good game. The Miners won the coin toss and deferred to the Tigers. After the teams traded punts, TSU took over at their own five-yard line. On the third play of the drive, TSU QB, Devin Williams was picked off by Ryan Kirkendall and he returned it 18 yards for the 7-0 Miners lead.
The Tigers would get that score right back on a five-play, 60-yard drive. On the drive, Williams would hit wide receivers Roylain Oliver and Domin Franklin for consecutive 23-yard gains. That set up the Tigers at the S&T eight-yard line. Domin would run it in from there to tie the score at 7-7.
Missouri S&T took the kickoff and drove down the field on the strength of two third-down conversions. The drive would take the Miners down to the TSU 15-yard line where they would settle for a Ben Styron 32-yard field goal to give them a 10-7 lead.
After a Ric Garcia III field goal tied the game at 10-10, TSU would take the lead for the first time in the game. Ja’Corey Benjamin got it started when he picked off S&T QB, Brennan Sims in the end zone. Williams would complete four of five passes for 57 yards and Franklin would get to paydirt again on a one-yard run for the 17-10 TSU lead. It was a nine-play 80-yard drive that took only 2:48.
The third quarter was all S&T as they made some key plays like an 18-yard completion from Sims to Payton McAllister on third and six. On a second and five from the TSU 38, Sims would strike again hitting Logan Armontrout for 20 yards. That set up a 31-yard field goal from Styron to put the Miners up 20-17. After a TSU punt, Styron would hit one from 41 yards out to give S&T a 23-17 lead that would set the stage for a dramatic fourth quarter.
The teams traded punts to start the fourth and then TSU took over at their own 18. On first and ten, Franklin would gash the Miners defense with a 22-yard gain. Two plays later, Williams would connect with Donnie Coley on a 42-yard pass to make it first and goal TSU at the Miners three. Unfortunately, a penalty and two incomplete passes later, TSU would have to settle for a Garcia III 24-yard field goal to make it 23-20.
So, with 4:48 to go in the game, TSU would get the ball at their own 12 with a chance to go 88 yards for their first win of the season. They would put together one of their best drives of the year with Williams and Franklin putting in most of the work. Tyler Cook would chip in a big third and three conversion for five yards and a first down. On second and five from their 48, Williams would connect with Corley for a 30-yard gain to the S&T 22. But on first and goal from the nine, Williams took a sack and lost eight yards on the play. They could not get the first down but set up to tie the game and send it to overtime. Garcia III, who had already made field goals from 45 and 24 yards set up for the game-tying 30-yarder. His kick was long enough but it sailed wide right to keep the Tigers winless in 2019. The final score in this one was Miners 23 TSU 20.
Williams would finish the game 25-37 for 273 yards, a pick, and was sacked twice. Franklin had 23 carries for 116 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Corley would catch 10 passes and wind up with 152 yards receiving. The Tigers outgained the Miners 446-397 but they had eight penalties and lost a fumble.
Next week the Tigers travel to Dallas to take on Southern at the 2nd annual State Fair Showdown at the Cotton Bowl. Stay tuned for coverage of that game from NGSC Sports where we never stop.
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