Joplin — The Missouri Southern football team used a combination of big plays and stellar defense and the Lions defeated visiting Washburn 42-21 tonight at Fred G. Hughes Stadium inside the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex.


The Lions (2-2, 2-2 MIAA) had five rushing touchdowns on the night and one passing score, but the defense had four interceptions, six tackles for a loss 11 pass break ups and six quarterback hurries in the game.


Washburn (1-3, 1-3 MIAA) actually out gained the Lions by 128 yards, but costly turnovers did the Ichabods in.


Washburn won the toss and elected to receive and the Ichabods didn't waste any time getting on the board, scoring on the opening drive and a two-yard run from Vershon Moore.


The Lions answered right back as Michael Nelson hit paydirt for 29 yards, capping off a 10 play, 80-yard drive. The first quarter would end tied at seven.


Southern's defense held strong on the Ichabod's next possession, holding Washburn to a three and out after driving to the MSSU 11-yard line. A field goal attempt from 20 would be no good and the Lions took over on their own 20. Scott Lathrop wasted no time and hit Chris Jeffries for an 80-yard pass and score on the very next play to put the Lions up 14-7. Neither team scored for the rest of the half.


The Lions had the ball to start the second half and it took just 1:33 to result in another score as a big 38-yard run from Shannon Saunders was capped off by a four-yard score from Saunders to put Southern up 21-7.


Washburn answered back with a touchdown to make the score 21-14, but the Lions scored on their next possession to go up 28-14. A 24-yard pass from Lathrop to Anthony Cannon and a 27-yard run from Lathrop on the drive was capped by a five-yard dive into the endzone by Giresse Forchu.


The Lions added another score before the end of the third, this time on an eight-yard Lathrop run to make the score 35-14 with 26 seconds left in the third.