BROWNWOOD, Texas --- The Mississippi College football team lost four fumbles and threw two interceptions on their way to a 27-14 loss to Howard Payne on Saturday afternoon at Gordon Wood Stadium.
The Choctaws (1-5, 0-3 ASC) grabbed an early lead as sophomore quarterback Jonathon Redd found senior Alex Archer for a 42-yard touchdown pass with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter.
The MC defense stopped the Yellow Jackets (1-5, 1-2 ASC) on the next possession, but gave HPU the ball at the Choctaw 33-yard line with a fumbled punt. Quarterback Thomas Head would score the game-tying touchdown on a nine-yard scamper with 2:17 to go in the second quarter.
The Choctaws gained the lead back when freshman Denzel Dabon scored on a bruising four-yard run with 2:03 to go in the first half. Dabon rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries in the contest.
It looked like MC would go into the half with a lead, but Ke-Ke Stewart took the ensuing kick-off back for 49 yards to the MC 43-yard line. After a personal foul penalty kept the drive alive, Head found Astin Murray for a 14-yard score and the teams went into the break tied, 14-14.
The Choctaws opened the second half with possession, but an HPU interception set up the Yellow Jackets at mid-field. After driving to the MC 17-yard line, junior Stephen Miner blocked a field goal and gave the ball back to the Choctaws.
In the game, Miner tallied 10 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal. Junior linebacker Doc Ward led the way with 19 tackles for the Choctaws.
After a punt by MC, HPU drove down the field and scored on a one-yard run by Thomas Head that gave the Jackets their first lead of the contest.
The Choctaws would be forced to punt on the next drive, but junior Austin Gray came up with his first interception of the season and set MC up at the HPU 48-yard line.
The Choctaws could not capitalize and would eventually give the ball to the Jackets in the 4th quarter at the MC 44-yard line on a fumble. Thomas Head would go on to find Tristian Fuentes for a 46-yard score and HPU would snap a 12-game losing streak with the 27-14 win.
Sophomore Joseph McFarland was a bright spot for the Choctaws, averaging 28 yards on four kick returns.
The Choctaws will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to Seguin, Texas to face Texas Lutheran at 1:00 p.m.