CLINTON, Miss. --- Recording 531 yards of total offense, the Howard Payne University football team's comeback would come up short as the Yellow Jackets fall 41-38 to Mississippi College Saturday afternoon at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
Mississippi College had a 41-24 advantage over the Yellow Jackets with just three minutes remaining, but Howard Payne went on a run, scoring 14 points over the next 1:35. After recovering one on-side kick and scoring the Jackets would not be able to gain a second and fell 41-38.
MC opened the scoring with a nine-yard run on the opening drive, capping a nine-play, 50 yard drive that took just over four minutes. Then the Choctaws led 14-0 with a 16-yard run left in the first quarter.
A 23-yard field goal would push the MC lead to 17-0 with just 1:45 remaining in the first half.
The Jackets got on the board before halftime, taking the ball 63 yards in just 52 seconds, capped off by a 3-yard run from Zarron Dove. He rushed the ball 10 times for 54 yards and the touchdown.
On the ensuing kick-off, MC picked up a squib kick and carried it back into Howard Payne territory, setting up for another 23-yard field goal to close out the half with MC taking a 20-7 lead.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with a bang as Richard Young found Joshua Kennedy for a 49-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 20-14. Young threw for 319 yards and two scores to go along with 112 rushing yards and a score.
Joshua Martinez nailed a 26-yard field goal on the next HPU drive and cut the MC lead to 20-17 with 8:03 remaining in the third quarter.
The Choctaws answered right back with a 56-yard touchdown pass, pushing the lead back to 27-17.
The Jackets came answered back with a four-play, 69-yard drive, capped off by an 8-yard run from Chase Burns to bring the MC lead back down to 27-24.
As the fourth quarter opened, MC still clung to the three-point lead, but pushed the advantage out to 34-24 with their third rushing touchdown of the game, a three-yard run set up by a MC interception.
MC then jumped a pass in the flats on the next HPU drive and took the interception back 41 yards for a touchdown to give MC a 41-24 lead.
Richard Young, who was 26-for-46 passing for 319 yards and 2 TDs, also rushed for a game high 112 yards on nine carries and a score. Tristian Fuentes had five catches for a game-high 103 yards. Fuentes also had four kick returns for 134 yards. Howard Payne put up 531 yards of offense, led by their 319 yards passing.
Maurice Young led the HPU defense with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception. Josh Eppler followed with eight tackles.
Howard Payne is now 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play, Mississippi College stands at 3-3 overall and 3-0 in ASC action. The Jackets will be at home next week versus East Texas Baptist University. It is a 1:00 pm kickoff.
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