MARYVILLE — The winless Missouri Southern Lions were annihilated to a 63-0 tune Saturday afternoon by unbeaten and NCAA Division II No. 4-ranked Northwest Missouri at the Bearcats’ home Bearcat Stadium/Tjeerdsma Field.
The Bearcats spread out their scoring efficiently with 14 points in the first quarter, 42 in the middle quarters split between 21 in the second and 21 in the third, and finally seven in the fourth. Too bad for the Lions that in college there’s no turbo clock like in high school football.
The difference in offensive numbers proved staggering.
Northwest Missouri generated 31 first downs, 588 yards of total offense, 332 passing yards, and 256 rushing yards, while Missouri Southern totaled 11 first downs, 187 total yards, 149 passing, and 38 rushing despite the Bearcats not exactly dominating time of possession. Northwest Missouri gained 400 more yards in only three minutes more of possession in the 60-minute contest.
Under such circumstances, former Neosho High standout and Missouri Southern sophomore reserve quarterback Coleman Scott saw action behind center and recorded his first collegiate statistics. Scott completed 1 of 3 passes for 11 yards and he rushed for nine yards on three carries, highlighted by a 8-yard carry.
Starting quarterback Sean Kelly passed for 130 yards on 13-24 accuracy, with Aaron Willis responsible for two catches for 59 yards and running back Caleb Batie found more success in the passing game with four grabs for 32 yards. Dalton James led the ground attack with 27 yards on 10 carries. Southern punter Riley Hathorn proved most valuable for the Lions on Saturday with 10 punts totaling 389 yards, highlighted by a 53-yard kick.
Akel Beard, Paul Williams, Desmond Payton, Diontez Champion, and Deshon Cowling each made five stops to lead the Lions defensively and Cowling picked off a pass for his first of the season.
Missouri Southern (0-3 overall, 0-3 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association), who has not won a game since the 2016 season, returns home Saturday for a clash against Fort Hays State. The Lions have been outscored 159-13 their first three games.