Missouri claws back to beat Arkansas, seniors leave Faurot as winners

11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago Friday, November 25 2016 Nov 25, 2016 Friday, November 25, 2016 7:58:00 PM CST November 25, 2016 in Sports
By: Mitchel Summers, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter

On Senior Night, the emotions ran high for a tight nit group of seniors. These group of seniors have seen it all. The transition to the SEC, two SEC championship appearances, the football team boycotting their play in the wake of the Concerned Student protests and sub par play this current season. 

It was fitting to see this scrappy group of seniors find a way to claw out a victory in their final appearance at Faurot Field.

In the first half, the Tiger offense seemed dead in the water. Missouri had a total of 5 first downs and only 137 total yards. 82 of those yards came on account of a run by Johnathon Johnson. The Tigers struggled to maintain drives as they had possession of the ball for only 5:40 of the first half and failed to convert on a single third down. 

The Razorbacks had little to no problems carving up a lack luster opposing defense. The first play from scrimmage for Arkansas went 66 yards and Rawleigh Williams punched it in the next play. Other scores came from Devwah Whaley ran in a 30 yard score and Austin Cantrell caught a touchdown. 

The Tigers lone score in the first half came on a play where Ish Witter had an easy score, but he tossed the ball before crossing the goal line. Fortunately, J'Mon Moore just happened to pick up the ball before it rolled out of bounds. Missouri went into the locker room trailing 24-7.

Coming back out of the tunnel in the third, a different Tigers team came charging. 

The first drive back, Lock launched a high arcing deep thread into the awaiting arms of J'Mon Moore for 48 yards, then hit Moore again for 18 yards to bring the offense down to the Arkansas 3. Nate Strong ran in his first career rushing touchdown soon after. The score turned 24-14.

Arkansas drove all the way down to the Mizzou 3 yard line before Cale Garrett stepped in front of an Austin Allen pass for his first career pick. 

Lock dropped a dime from deep in the sky when he hooked up with Johnathon Johnson for a 67 yard score. Including that 82 yard run, Johnson has had three plays on offense of 60 or more yards. The rest of the Tiger offense skilled position players don't have more than 2 combined. That brought the Tigers withing a single score at 24-21. 

Mizzou finished the first half with only 137 total yards. They logged 168 yards in their resurgent third quarter.

The next drive, Lock hooked up with J'Mon Moore again for 49 yards, giving Moore over 1,000 receiving yards on the season. That set up a spot knocking on the door and Strong took advantage as he poked into the end zone for his second touchdown on the evening. That gave Mizzou their first lead at 28-24, but they gave over 3 minutes left on the clock for Arkansas to answer. 

The much maligned Tiger defense needed to stand up and their leaders shined in key moments.

Arkansas marched all the way down to inside the Mizzou five yard line. D-Line Zou returned to old form and stopped three consecutive runs on the goal line. On fourth down the Razorbacks rolled the dice and senior Aarion Maxey-Penton stepped up. He jumped in front of a pass and recorded his 10th career interception to halt a scoring opportunity. 

Arkansas would have one more go at taking the lead.

The Razorbacks once again marched down into the red zone, but on fourth down, Marcell Frazier logged his third sack of the game to seal the victory for the Tigers. Missouri pulls themselves back from being down by over 3 scores to get their second conference win of the season.

An up and down season ends for the Tigers as they win 28-24 over Arkansas. They finish 4-8 on the season and 2-6 in conference play. 

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