Fumbles doom Tigers in late loss to Lions


The Fort Hays Football team competed in another home game this weekend against the Missouri Southern Lions. Coming into the game, the Tigers and head football coach Chris Brown noted that this Lions team is well improved from this past season with their only loss coming to nationally ranked Nebraska-Kearney.

FHSU had trouble holding onto the ball against MSSU, coughing it up seven times with five of those fumbles recovered by the Lions.  Fort Hays lost the game by the final score of 25-24. 

“I’m gonna tell them again, you gotta look in the mirror and take a look at yourselves and figure out what we’ve got to do to get better and to win these ball games,” Head Coach Chris Brown said. “We [as coaches] have got to figure out how we’re gonna get these kids to play for four quarters and play hard for four quarters, be aggressive, be physical, make the plays you’re supposed to make and quit making excuses.” 

FHSU led the Lions 24-19 going into the fourth quarter and threatened to score two times in the quarter, but fumbled in the RedZone twice. The Tigers drove the ball down the field with 6:50 left in the game and fumbled the ball at the Missouri Southern one-yard line. Fort Hays did get the ball back and went down the field to ultimately fumble the ball once more at the Southern six-yard line with 48 seconds left in the game. 

The Lions drove the ball 96 yards down the field to score in the waning seconds of the game. 

“We can’t be giving a team chances to win the game as many as we did, we wanted to score the two final drives and we end up fumbling right outside the endzone,” Quarterback Jack Dawson said. 

Things didn’t begin well for FHSU either. To start the game, the Tigers snapped the ball into the back of the endzone on a punt attempt giving up a safety early on in the game. Ezekiel Lang then caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to push the Lions’ lead to 9-0. Fort Hays scored on their next drive of the game as third-string quarterback Ethan Forrester ran in for the touchdown. 

Fort Hays earned the lead back with a touchdown pass from Jack Dawson to Layton Cure. Fort Hays State led 14-9. The Fort Hays defense blocked a punt into the endzone that was picked up by Mason Perez for a score. The Lions kicked a field goal with five minutes left in the second quarter then scored another touchdown before FHSU tacked on a last-second field goal to enter halftime up 24-19.

“We’re just gonna get back into the drawing board and figure out what our kids can do,” Brown said. “I feel like we put a very good playing game plan together offensively defensively, and on special teams. It’s just about execution and making the plays and that’s something our kids have got to start doing is executing, making the plays not turning the ball over creating some turnovers on defense and just playing harder.” 

Fort Hays moves to 1-3 on the season and is ninth in MIAA standings after week four of the season. Fort Hays travels to rival Nebraska Kearney Saturday to take on the No. 7 team in the nation. Fans can watch the game on the MIAA Network. 

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