Tigers host Mo. Southern on Saturday night


Fort Hays State (1-2, 1-2 MIAA) vs
Missouri Southern (1-2, 1-2 MIAA)
Saturday, Sept. 28 – 7 pm
Hays, Kan. – Lewis Field Stadium

Game Sponsor: Golden Belt Bank
Game Theme: Gold Rush (Wear Tiger Gold to the Game)
Promotion: Postgame Fireworks Show (sponsored by Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, Horizon Appliance and Electronics, and J.DAY Fireworks.

Fort Hays State Football plays host to Missouri Southern on Saturday night (Sept. 28) at 7 pm inside the walls of Lewis Field Stadium in Hays. Both teams enter the contest at 1-2 on the season. Be sure to stay following the game as a fireworks show will follow sponsored by the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, Horizon Appliance and Electronics, and J.DAY Fireworks.

The Tigers are coming off a thrilling 41-38 overtime win at Washburn last week. The Tigers snapped a nine-game losing skid to the Ichabods inside Yager Stadium in Topeka, a place where they were winless since 1987. FHSU kicker Dante Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at the end of regulation and then hit a game-winning 30-yard attempt in overtime to lift the Tigers to victory. Brown earned MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

Fort Hays State continues to thrive with its passing attack, averaging 333 yards per game. In fact, FHSU has thrown for exactly 333 yards in each of the first three games this season. In the win at Washburn, Chance Fuller threw for 271 and Voshon Waiters threw for 62. In the two previous games, Fuller threw for all 333 yards. The Tigers own the sixth-best passing offense in NCAA Division II. This week, they face the team right behind them in that category as Missouri Southern averages 331 yards through the air per game.

The Tigers established their running game against Washburn last week, producing 161 yards on the ground. Charles Tigner led the way with 125 yards, the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his career.

Missouri Southern has improved immensely on offense under first year head coach Jeff Sims. The Lions have already scored more points than they did all of last season in just three games. The Lions have put 99 points on the board so far this season, averaging 33.3 per game. Last year, they scored just 81 points for the entire season, averaging just 7.3 per game and getting shutout five times. MSSU scored at least 27 points in each game this season. Iowa State transfer quarterback Jacob Park ranks sixth in NCAA Division II for passing yards per game (331.0). Though the offense has seen a drastic turnaround, the Lion defense is allowing 39.7 points per game so far this year, including a 52.5 average in their two losses.

Fort Hays State currently owns a six-game win streak in the series with Missouri Southern, winning all games played since 2011. Missouri Southern’s last win over FHSU occurred in 2010 in Hays by a score of 41-31. FHSU has won three meetings in both Joplin and Hays since 2011. The Tigers took last year’s meeting in Joplin by a score of 55-20.

After allowing 516 yards to Central Missouri in the season opener, the FHSU defense has tightened up the last two games allowing less than 400 yards (369 to Missouri Western, 377 to Washburn). The 516 yards allowed to Central Missouri is best so far by one an opponent as the nationally ranked Mules lead NCAA Division II in total offense, averaging 603.3 total yards per game. Missouri Southern enters this contest averaging 463.3 yards per game. Senior defensive back Tanner Hoekman leads the FHSU tackling effort so far this year with 25, followed by Drew Harvey with 21 and Jordan Starks with 20. Hoekman, Starks, and Isaiah Creal-Musgray all recorded interceptions last week. Creal-Musgray’s pick was the biggest, keeping Washburn from scoring in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal by Brown.

Fort Hays State head coach Chris Brown is looking for his 60th win leading the Tigers. He is already the all-time wins leader among coaches in FHSU history.

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