SPRINGFIELD, Mo — With the wind at their backs and less than 7 minutes to play, Brodie Lambert connected with Jalen Esters across the middle to put the Bears within scoring distance.
Lambert’s lob to Deion Holliman completed the 2nd half comeback.
The senior quarterbacks, career high 5 touchdown passes appeared to secure the Missouri State Homecoming Victory.
That was until Joey Borsellino beat the Bears coverage deep on a 3rd and 17.
“I screwed up that coverage at the end,” said head coach Dave Steckel.
The 12th ranked Leatherknecks would finish their drive with just 43 seconds left on the clock, taking the 38-35 lead.
“Every game, every snap. It all comes down to just playing 1 game at a time,” said Kurran Blamey.
On the ensuing drive, Western Illinois completed the clearing of Plasters Stadium’s crowd of 12,639, intercepting Lambert for the 3rd time on Saturday.
“I’m not going to sit here and make excuses,” said Brodie Lambert. “We started out slow and couldn’t run the ball. I missed throws, and we just looked sloppy.”
“Its not just 1 guy though,” explained Stec. “Sometimes we have protection problems, sometimes we had dropped balls, sometimes we had bad calls. All of us have to work as a well oiled machine,” said Stec.
“Nobody is down on anybody. We can build from this,” said Deion Holliman. “We have to play all 4 quarters, because it matters.”