Tigers Defeat Lopers 24-17 with Second Half Comeback

FHSU Sports Information

Fort Hays State overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit to defeat Nebraska-Kearney 24-17 on Saturday (Nov. 1) in Kearney, Neb. The Tigers moved to 5-4 overall, 5-4 in the MIAA with the win, while Nebraska-Kearney dropped to 2-7 overall, 2-7 in the MIAA. Fort Hays State scored 24 unanswered points before a late touchdown by UNK.

Fort Hays State’s offense struggled mightily in the first half, producing just two first downs and 55 yards of total offense. The Lopers scored a five-yard touchdown run with 1:36 to go in the first quarter to go up 7-0, then added a 26-yard field goal with 2:47 to go in the second quarter to take the 10-0 advantage at the half.

The momentum shifted towards the Tigers early in the third quarter when Nebraska-Kearney snapped the ball over its punter’s head and it went through the back of the endzone for a safety, making it 10-2. That triggered the Tiger offense, which marched 46 yards on four plays as Treveon Albert rushed the ball into the endzone from six yards out. An extra point made it 10-9 with 11:38 to go in the third quarter.

After the defense kept the Lopers at bay in the third quarter, Albert found Ed Williams on a short pass, but Williams beat all the defenders with his legs and went 61 yards to the endzone to put the Tigers on top. Albert rushed the ball in for a two-point conversion to give FHSU a 17-10 lead with 10:34 to play in the game.

Kenneth Iheme provided an insurance touchdown that the Tigers would need on a four-yard run with 4:08 to play, making it 24-10 and giving the Tigers 24 unanswered points. Iheme had a 44-yard rush earlier on the drive to set up the scoring opportunity.

The Lopers added a 13-yard touchdown pass late with 1:15 to go, but the Tigers recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock from that point.

Iheme finished the game with 149 rushing yards, helping the Tigers to 242 yards on the ground as a team. Albert added 61 yards on the ground. Williams’ one catch of the game went for the 61-yard touchdown. Albert completed just three passes in the game for 72 yards. The Tigers finished the game with 314 total yards, racking up 259 in the second half.

The defense held the Lopers to 323 total yards, but just 86 in the second half with the near shutout after halftime. Micheal Jordan led Tiger tacklers with 12 in the game. Justin McPhail and Alex Schmidtberger each recorded nine tackles, while Schmidtberger added an interception. The defensive line had a big game as Jesse Trent finished with eight tackles and a half sack, Andre McKinnon had eight tackles, Tomasi Molesi had seven tackles and a half sack, and Michael Terry added seven tackles and two sacks.

The Tigers host Missouri Southern for their final home game of the season next week in Hays at Lewis Field Stadium. The Senior Day game is set to begin at 2 pm.

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