Protecting home turf important for Bears

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State had about as thrilling of a home opener as imaginable on Saturday night.

Missouri State and Central Arkansas combined to score 40 points in the second half, but MSU scored the final two touchdowns to win 43-34.

A late spree of scores concluded with five touchdowns scored in the final 3:17 of the game.

The first MSU touchdown of that stretch was a Montrae Braswell 97-yard kickoff return to give the Bears a lead.

Braswell was named MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts.

Xavier Lane also had a big night, going for 148 receiving yards and a touchdown, which would prove to be the game-winner.

“We all believe in each other. We are fighting for each other until the last seconds of the quarter,” Lane said. “It really doesn’t matter, I am just proud of the team and how hard we fought and stayed together. Coach always talked about the rope and how we all need to hold on to that rope and we’ll be good. This is what we are all about. We are a team that can win in four quarters. that’s what we believe in.”

Lane also received recognition from the conference, winning Offensive POTW and Newcomer of the Week honors.

The back-and-forth game was the third between the two Bears programs within the past 12 months.

Missouri State not wanting to drop another home game to the Bears from Conway.

“We bleed on that field every day,” Kevon Latulas said. “We fight hard on that field every day. We can’t go out sad on our home field, you know. We’ve got to win at home, that’s where we pride ourselves. We got all the love and support from our fans and all y’all, so that helped us out a lot, too.”

The Bears are off next weekend before hosting South Dakota on September 25.

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