JOPLIN, Mo. (Oct. 5, 2019) – Central Missouri Mules Football improved to 5-0 with a 70-point outburst in a 71-42 win over Missouri Southern. The Mules pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Lions 43-14 on their way to the win.
How it Happened
• This was a game for lovers of offense. Each team gained more than 550 yards with UCM outgaining the Lions 687-558.
• Central Missouri won the turnover battle 5-1 with four interceptions.
• The Mules led in time of possession 32:24 – 26:29.
• The two teams combined for 22 penalties for 226 yards.
• UCM dominated on the ground, 266-39 as the Lions couldn’t get any sort of rushing attack going.
• Things got started when Lions returned the opening kickoff 67 yards to the UCM 28 yard line. Four played later on a fourth-and-two, Charles West got the first down and more, rushing 20 yards into the endzone for a 7-0 Lion lead.
• The Mules were moving on the ensuing possession, but Mother Nature had other ideas. With lightning in the area, the game was delayed for 40 minutes.
• Out of the break, the Mules lost some momentum and were forced to punt. With the Lions looking for a 14-0 lead, the defense held strong. With the Lions inside the redzone, a UCM sack on second-and-six put the Lions in a 3rd-and-19. They failed to convert on both third and fourth down, turning the ball back over to the Mules.
• This time, the Mules were able to get on the board. Capping an eight-play, 73-yard drive was Koby Wilkerson with a one-yard rush. On third-and-six inside the Lion 10, Bolles’ pass to John Rolls fell incomplete, but a pass interference on the Lion defense gave UCM a fresh set of downs to work with. Two plays later, Wilkerson found the endzone for a 7-7 tie.
• Near the end of the first, the Lions were able to regain the lead. Jacob Park found Brailon Mouton for 19 yards and a 14-7 lead.
• After UCM punted to start the second quarter, the Lions needed just five plays to take a 21-7 lead. Park hit Brian Boyd and with just two minutes gone by in the second, the Lions led 21-7.
• Bolles got the Mules back in it, marching UCM 75 yards on eight plays, going 4-4 including a five-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Saunders and it was back to a one-score game, 21-14.
• A three-and-out gave the Mules the ball back set up on their own 45. On third-and-two, Shae Wyatt rushed 20 into the endzone for his first career rushing touchdown and tied the game at 28-all.
• The Lions though again responded. Park orchestrated an 11-play, 76-yard drive and with 3:09 left before the half, MSSU again led, 28-21.
• Three minutes was more than enough time for Bolles and the Mules. Devante Turner set them up with a 51-yard kickoff return into Lion territory. With less than a minute to go, Bolles hit Zach Davidson for six yards and we were tied at 28. UCM converted on a third-and-13 to keep the drive alive when Bolles hit Saunders for 21 yards.
• Instead of being content to go into the half tied at 28, the Lions came out firing. UCM was up to the task though and forced a three-and-out and with nine seconds left got the ball back on their own 44. On first down Bolles took it himself, rushing 25 yards to set up a 48-yard field goal attempt. Chris Diddle’s attempt missed wide right, and after 30 minutes, we were all tied at 28.
• The second half started and a flipped switched, especially for the defense. The Mules received the second half kickoff and needed just three played and 1:17 to take their first lead. Bolles found Davidson who did the rest, scoring from 78 yards out and a 35-28 lead.
• Just 1:12 seconds later, the Mules again scored. Azaiah Bello intercepted Park on their first play of the half and UCM had it again at the Lion 35. On third-and-one, Bolles got all of it as Shae Wyatt scored from 26 yards out for a 42-28 lead.
• Not done there though. It took just 18 seconds this time for the Mules to score. Park was again intercepted on the Lions first play of the drive. This time Codie Bell nearly scored, taking the interception 40 yards down to the Lions two. Bolles hit Wyatt again and in less than three minutes, the Mules scored three times and led 49-28.
• The Lions were finally able to sustain a drive, but the end result was the same. Another UCM interception, this time from Aundra Gilbert, halted the Lions drive.
• While UCM wasn’t able to add another touchdown in the third, the defense just kept making plays. Inside the Mules redzone, Dante Cleveland knocked the ball away from park and Ubong Udom was there to scoop it up to keep the Lions off the board. On MSSU’s final drive of the quarter, Javon Kirk dropped Park in his own endzone for a safety and after three, it was 51-28 Mules.
• It didn’t take long for UCM to add another touchdown. Less than a minute into the fourth, Bolles capped an eight-play drive hitting Davidson again from 15 yards out.
• Special teams and notably Koby Wilkerson helped set up the Mules next touchdown. Wilkerson’s 37-yard punt return put the ball at the Lion 21. One play later, Bolles to Davidson, 64-28 Mules.
• Missouri Southern added a pair of touchdowns in the quarter, but it was much too little, much too late, With just over six minutes remaining the Mules were looking to eat some clock running the ball, but Roosevelt Abram wasn’t tackled and he ran 85 yards into the endzone for the game’s final touchdown.
Mules Stat Leaders
• Bolles was the story passing for 421 yards on 25-36 passing with seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 39 yards.
• Zach Davidson and Shae Wyatt each went over 100 yards receiving. Davidson caught seven passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns. Wyatt scored twice with six catches for 111 yards.
• Roosevelt Abram’s 85 yard touchdown run meant he led UCM on the ground with 97 yards on five carries.
• Koby Wilkerson added a rushing score on 17 carries with 52 yards. He also had a 37-yard punt return.
• Devante Turner totaled 118 yards on four kickoff returns, rushed for 50 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards for 188 all-purpose yards.
• Javon Kirk had two and a half sacks on defense including one for a safety.
• Codie Bell led the defense with six tackles and returned an interception 40 yards.
For the Lions
• Jacob Park completed 36-of-59 passes for 519 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
• Charles West carried the ball 39 times six times for 39 yards with a touchdown.
• Devond Blair caught seven passes for 160 yards.
• Brian Boyd and Brailon Mouton each caught two touchdown passes.
• Colton Winder made 15 stops on defense.
News and Notes
• Brook Bolles’ seven touchdown passes are a new Central Missouri school record.
• Zach Davidson matched a UCM record with his four receiving touchdowns. The only other time it was done was almost 59 years to the day, by Larry Shepard on October 1, 1960.
• Bolles moved up into fifth all-time in career touchdown passes with 47. His 421 passing yards are the eighth most in a game all-time.
• This was the second time this season the Mules have scored 70 points and just the third time under Coach Svoboda. Before this year the last time the Mules scored 70 in a game was in 2017 also against Missouri Southern and also 71 points.
• On five Lion possessions in the third quarter, the Mules defense went: interception, interception, interception, fumble, safety.
• The Mules outgained the Lions 192-25 in the third quarter.
• The 113 combined points is also a new UCM record for total points in a game.
• This is the first time the Mules have started 5-0 since 2003. It’s on the ninth time in school history UCM has started the year off with five straight wins.
• The Mules will be back home for Homecoming. UCM takes on Central Oklahoma Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1:30 p.m.