SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Cardiac Bears had another shot to make it a memorable Saturday.
They came up one point short.
UT Martin beat Missouri State 32-31 in the first round of the FCS Playoffs at Plaster Stadium in Springfield, ending the Bears season.
The game featured eight lead changes.
Unfortunately for Missouri State, it also featured six Bears (8-4) turnovers.
“It’s a tough loss for us. We feel like we did everything to give it away,” Bears head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We turned the ball over on offense, we turned it over in special teams and we didn’t make enough plays to win the game. I felt like right until the end that we would go down and score and get out of here with a win, but we didn’t make it happen. We gave the ball back too often.”
Jason Shelley threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns to go with 93 yards on the ground.
UT Martin (10-2) picked off Shelley three times, the final one a ricochet that fell into the hands of D’Carrious Stephens.
More records fell during the game for Missouri State. Ty Scott recorded his 63 catch of the season, which sets a new single-season high. Jose Pizano also netted his 104th point to become the leader in points from a kicker in a single-season in MSU history.
The Skyhawks advance to take on Montana State in the FCS Playoffs.