SEGUIN, Texas --- The Mississippi College football team stopped a four-game losing streak with a 24-21 victory over Texas Lutheran on Saturday afternoon at Matador Stadium.
The Choctaws (2-5, 1-3 ASC) played their best offensive football of the season with 222 rushing yards on 52 carries. Freshman Otis Smith earned his first collegiate start and led the way with 13 carries for 106 yards. MC controlled the clock with over 36 minutes of possession in the contest.
Preseason All-American Allen Cain, who went 5-5 on field goals in Clinton last season, missed three field goals, including two in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game.
Sophmore quarterback Beaux Gipson and freshman signal-caller Stacey Dillard combined to throw for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the contest. They also ran for 99 yards and a score in the contest.
The MC defense came up huge in the fourth quarter with three stops to clinch the victory for the Choctaws. Sophomore Alandas Hardy led the way with eight tackles, while junior Stephen Miner had four tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
The Choctaws also held the Bulldogs to just 2-13 on third-down conversions, while forcing three turnovers.
After TLU scored to open the game, Dillard found Otis Smith for a 13-yard touchdown catch to tie the game 7-7 with 2:39 to go in the first quarter.
Senior Chris Campbell shook off an earlier blocked field goal to give MC a 10-7 lead with a 37-yard shot early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs (3-4, 1-3 ASC) took the lead going into halftime as Brent Peavy found Collin Bode for a 31-yard score and TLU led 14-10.
The Choctaws opened the second half with a score to take the lead as Dillard rushed in from a yard out to take a 17-14 advantage with 5:16 to go in the third quarter.
Jo Jo Epps found the end zone for TLU to get the lead back, 21-17, with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter. Epps rushed the ball four times for 26 yards and the score.
MC would not back down, however, as Gipson found senior Alex Archer for a four-yard score to cap off a 13-play, six minute drive and give the Choctaws a 24-21 lead.
The MC defense came up with three stops down the stretch, including two missed field goals by Cain, to clinch the victory.
The Choctaws will be back in action next week for their 2012 Homecoming contest as MC hosts East Texas Baptist at 3:00 p.m. at Robinson-Hale Stadium.