Choctaws Win Second Straight Homecoming Game, 34-21, Over HPU
CLINTON, MS - The Mississippi College football team won their second consecutive "Homecoming" game for the first time in 12 years with a 34-21 victory over Howard Payne on Saturday afternoon at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The Choctaws (3-4, 2-3 ASC) snapped a three-game losing streak as senior quarterback Tommy Reyer eclipsed 300 yards passing for the second game in-a-row and tossed four touchdowns.
The defense stood tall with 14 tackles for loss and six sacks, led by senior Jarryn Bingham with four of each, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Junior Demetrius Randolph opened the scoring with six-yard touchdown catch from Reyer to cap off a four-play, 59-yard drive to start the game.
The Yellow Jackets capitalized on an interception in the first quarter to knot the score at 7-7 with a 14-yard pass from Thomas Head to Adrian Lighteard.
Freshman DeMarrion Buford-Hughes wasted no time giving the lead back to MC with a 43-yard touchdown reception from Reyer on the very next play. Buford-Hughes caught three passes for 132 yards and two scores in the first half.
With under a minute remaining in the first half, Head tied the game with a 23-yard touchdown run. However, the Choctaws took the lead for good just :18 seconds later with another 43-yard pass from Reyer to Buford-Hughes. MC took a 20-14 lead into the halftime break.
Senior running back Steven Knight opened the second half with a 44-yard touchdown reception to give MC a 27-20 advantage. On the game, Knight combined for 144 total yards and two scores with 87 rushing yards and 57 receiving yards.
Howard Payne cut the lead to 27-21 at the start of the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown run from Lighteard. The scoring run capped off an 11-play, 46-yard drive. Lighteard rushed for 135 yards on 22 carries with the score.
The Choctaws put the game away for good on the next drive that covered 70 yards in nine plays. A 23-yard pass from Reyer to sophomore Austin Gray set up a three-yard scoring run for Knight.
Seniors Jarrad Craine and Jeremy Bertrand led the Choctaws with nine tackles each, while Craine hauled in his fourth interception of the season. Senior Blake Rowell added to his ASC-leading tackles for loss total with 3.0 to give him 18 on the season.
The Choctaws will make their longest road trip of the season when they travel to Alpine, TX to face Sul Ross State at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.