WIU falls to Missouri State in triple overtime

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — The Western Illinois football team fell to 0-5 on the season after a 37-31 triple-overtime loss to the Missouri State Bears on Saturday.

WIU coach Jared Elliott went with senior Kevin Johnson as the starting quarterback. Johnson went 8-for-19 for 136 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception.

The Leatherneck defense put WIU (0-5, 0-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference) ahead in the first quarter. Senior LaCale London recorded a strip sack, which led to a scoop and score by junior Kyle Williams.

Johnson found senior Tony Tate for a 41-yard receiving touchdown midway through the second quarter to put the Leathernecks up 14-0.

Missouri State (1-4, 1-4) struggled to get their offense going during the first half. With 1:16 remaining in the second quarter, senior quarterback Peyton Huslig connected with junior Lorenzo Thomas for an 18-yard touchdown to trim their deficit to 14-7 at halftime.

Huslig threw for 315 yards and set new career highs in passing touchdowns (4) and completions (28).

The Bears tied the game with 14:10 left in regulation on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Huslig found senior wideout Kendall Stewart.

MSU took its first lead with 7:51 remaining, as Huslig threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to senior Tyler Currie.

Elliott turned to Conor Sampson at quarterback on the next possession, which led to a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive. Senior running back Max Norris plunged into the end zone from a yard out on fourth-and-goal with 1:25 remaining.

Huslig hit Thomas for a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of the first overtime to put Missouri State up 28-21. WIU converted a fourth-and-12 in the first overtime, and Norris rumbled in for a 1-yard touchdown to extend the game.

Both teams’ kickers made field goals in the second overtime.

Stewart rushed for a 22-yard touchdown to put the Bears ahead in the third overtime, and Sampson was sacked on fourth-and-12 to end the game.

The Leathernecks will travel to Terra Haute, Indiana to take on the Indiana State Sycamores next Saturday at noon.