Fake Punt Sparks Mules Comeback Win Over #11 Fort Hays

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (Sept. 5, 2019) – Central Missouri Mules Football put on quite the show in front of their home faithful. In a thrilling win, the Mules stormed back in the second half for 34-30 win over No. 11 Fort Hays State. The Mules scored 27 in the half, 13 in the final 5:35 to pull out a come-from-behind win over last year’s MIAA co-champions.

How it Happened
• Central Missouri put up 516 yards of total offense, most in the second half. They had a balanced attack with 245 rushing yards and 271 yards through the air.
• Ball control went to the Tigers. They ran 79 plays and held the ball for 35:45.
• UCM used their quick-strike offense to score four touchdowns in less than three minutes and two in just three plays.
• Turnover’s didn’t play much of a factor early in the game. The Mules forced three fumbled, but recovered only one, a big one in the fourth quarter that led to the Mules game-winning score.
• Each team committed five penalties, but the Tigers lost 71 yards while the Mules just 36.
• Fort Hays got on the board on their first two possessions scoring a touchdown on their opening drive and a field goal off of a Mules fumble to take a 10-0 lead.
• A 51-yard Dante Brown field goal made it 13-0 to start the second quarter.
• UCM got a big run from Koby Wilkerson, a 66-yard score on 3-1 to put the Mules on the board.
• The Tigers added another field goal and the half ended with FHSU on top, 16-7.
• The second half brought the fireworks. The Mules took the opening kickoff 75 yards, scoring on a Brook Bolles 10-yard rush on third and two to make it a two-point game, 16-14.
• Fort Hays responded with a score of their own as the teams traded touchdowns to start the half. They pushed the lead back to nine, 23-14, on a 14-yard touchdown from Chance Fuller to Harley Hazlett.
• Bolles though drove the Mules right back down the field and on another third-down scrambled right and found Wilkerson who did the rest, scampering in 11 yards for a score. The quarter ended with UCM down just two, 23-21.
• The scoring stretch continued with the Tigers scoring on the third play in the fourth quarter.
• Staked to a nine-point lead, FHSU held on by that score til the final minutes of the fourth.
• Things looked bad for UCM facing 4th and 13 from their own 13 yard line. Zach Davidson, standing in his own endzone in punt formation, took the snap then darted left and picked up 22 yards to keep the drive alive.
• One play later, Bolles found a wide open Shae Wyatt for a 65-yard score to bring the Mules to within two, 30-28, and the crowd back to it’s feet.
• On the Tigers ensuing possession, they picked up a first down, but on 3rd and nine from the UCM 49, Kolesen Crane jarred the ball loose from quarterback Chance Fuller and Cameron Clay recovered to give the Mules the ball on the UCM 45 with 2:46 left to play.
• Needing just three for their first lead of the game, UCM did one better. Bolles hit a screen pass to Devante Turner who brought the ball to the Hays 33 for a first down.
• After a three-yard loss, Bolles hit a streaking Cameron Saunders for a 36-yard score, putting the Mules on top 34-30.
• Still with 1:27 left, the Tigers had one last shot to move the ball. The Mules defense stepped up big-time forcing a four-and-out and getting the ball back to seal the win.

It Was Over When…
• The offense was the star, but the defense made big plays when the needed. After the Mules took their first lead with 1:33 left, the defense didn’t allow another yard. The D-line got batted passes from Javon Kirk and Zack Aschemann on third and fourth down to give the ball back to UCM, who picked up a first down to ice the game.

Mules Stat Leaders
• Brook Bolles completed 14-of-26 passes for 271 yards and three scores. He also rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown.
• Koby Wilkerson led UCM on the ground with 103 yards on 10 carried including a 66-yard score. He added a second score through the air and caught two passes for 24 yards.
• It was a big day for Shae Wyatt who hauled in four passes for 145 yards and a 65-yard touchdown.
• Cameron Saunders caught two passes for 53 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
• Tyron Taylor led the Mules defense with nine tackles.
• Kolesen Crane finished with six tackles and a strip sack.

For the Tigers
• Chance Fuller completed 27-of-42 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
• The Tigers split carries, 15 each, for Charles Tigner and Te’Corey Tutson. Tigner rushed for 65 yards while Tutson had 58 and a touchdown.
• Tigner also caught eight passes out of the backfield for 55 yards.
• Layne Beieberle caught four passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.
• Drew Harvey led the Tigers with eight tackles.

News and Notes
• This is the first win for the Mules over the Tigers since 2016. They improve to 10-5 all-time.
• UCM improves to 10-17 against ranked opponents under Coach Svoboda. It is their first such win since the Mineral Water Bowl in 2017.
• It is just the 13th win for UCM in the Coach Svoboda era when trailing at the half. They move to 13-25 in such games.
• They are now 69-18 when scoring at least 21 points and 67-7 when scoring 30 under Coach Svoboda.
• The Mules are into their fourth century mark as they’ve now scored in 301 consecutive games.
• The 2017 NCAA leader in total offense is off to a good start in 2019. Brook Bolles totaled 328 yards in the game. This was his first game back since the season-opener last year, when he suffered a season-ending injury at Fort Hays.

Up Next
• The Mules will be on the road for the next two weeks. They travel to Northeastern State next Thursday, Sept. 12.