Choctaws' Rally Falls Just Short in 35-31 Loss to Belhaven
JACKSON, MS - The Mississippi College football team had their fourth quarter comeback fall just short as Belhaven came out victorious, 35-31, on Saturday night at H.T. Newell Field.
The Blazers staked claim to a 35-17 lead with 6:35 remaining in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Justin Gaines.
Senior quarterback Tommy Reyer rushed in from three yards out to cut the lead to 11 points with 1:15 left in the third quarter. Reyer followed that up with a 54-yard scoring strike to junior receiver Randal Pharr with 11:54 to go in the game.
The Choctaws had two drives come up short in the fourth quarter, but played until the last play as they forced a fumble as time expired and ran it back to the Belhaven 25-yard line before being tackled for the final play.
The two teams traded scores through the first two quarters as Belhaven took a 14-10 lead on a six-yard run by quarterback Alex Williams with 9:18 remaining in the second period.
The Choctaws answered right back with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Reyer to freshman DeMarrion Buford-Hughes to give MC a 17-14 advantage.
MC looked to head into the half with the lead, until the turning point of the game took place as Justin Mims returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown as the first half had already expired.
The Blazers opened the second half with two touchdowns to take an 18-point lead before the Choctaws began their comeback.
Reyer had another good night for the Choctaws, passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns after an impressive game against Millsaps last week.
Senior running back just missed 100 yards for the second straight game as he tallied 95 yards on 19 carries.
Randal Pharr had another huge night with five catches for 96 yards, including the 54-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter.
The Choctaws outgained the Blazers, 325-276, but costly turnovers kept MC from coming all the way back.
Defensively, freshman Dillon Causey led the Choctaws with 11 tackles, while senior Blake Rowell topped MC with 2.0 tackles for loss. Senior Jeremy Bertrand and freshman Mike Mitchell each intercepted Alex Williams passes in the game.
MC will open conference play next Saturday when they host Hardin-Simmons at 6:00 p.m. at Robinson-Hale Stadium.