CLINTON, MS - The Mississippi College football team forced five turnovers and pulled away for a 45-28 victory over #8 Hardin-Simmons on Saturday night at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The Choctaws have now beaten Hardin-Simmons two out of the last three years and three times in the last 16 tries. Each time MC has beaten the Cowboys, they have gone on to win the American Southwest Conference championship.
Senior running back Steven Knight rushed for 181 yards on 23 carries with three scores, while catching four passes for 44 yards and another touchdown. The Pearl native had touchdown runs of 72, 3, and 8 yards and a scoring catch of 27 yards in the win.
Hardin-Simmons lost four fumbles and threw an interception, as the Choctaws converted on four of the five turnovers with touchdowns. Senior Jarrad Craine led the team with 10 tackles, while senior Blake Rowell recorded 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
The play of the game came from freshman Raeon Jones when he returned an interception 68 yards with under a minute remaining in the first half. Senior Tommy Reyer tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to junior Randal Pharr and MC took a 21-14 advantage into the half.
MC dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for over 37 minutes. MC had the ball for almost 12 minutes in the 3rd quarter as they outscored the Cowboys, 17-0.
The Choctaws would score the first 24 points of the second half to take a 45-14 lead over the Cowboys. HSU added two late touchdown passes to give the game its final score.
Senior Matt Burke opened the scoring for MC with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Reyer with 6:35 to go in the first quarter.
HSU came right back with two touchdown passes from Taylor Byrd to Corey Jones that covered 58 and 47 yards, respectively.
Knight scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night with a 72-yard scamper that knotted the game at 14. Jones' interception and the subsequent touchdown by Pharr put MC ahead for good.
The Choctaws rushed for 267 yards, while holding the Cowboys to just 75 yards on the ground. HSU passed for 412 yards, but the turnovers kept them out of the end zone.
MC will hit the road to face Louisiana College next Saturday at 6:00 p.m. in Pineville.