Mules snap skid with 48-16 win at Central Oklahoma

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(EDMOND, Okla.) — The Central Missouri Mules racked up over 600 yards of total offense en route to a 48-16 win over Central Oklahoma at Wantland Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win snaps a two-game losing streak for UCM and brings the Mules back to within a game of .500.

The Bronchos (0-7, 0-7 MIAA) won the toss and elected to receive. The UCM (3-4, 2-4 MIAA) defense forced a three and out on the first possession and turned the ball over to the Mules offense. Hawk hit Tristan McClelland and Anthony Kirkwood for gains of 24 and 14 yards on the drive before LaVance Taylor ran it in from a yard out to give UCM a 7-0 lead.
The Bronchos responded with a nice drive of their own capped off by a Seth Hiddink 29-yard field goal to pull within 7-3. UCO quarterback T.J. Eckert hit a couple of third and long passes to keep the drive alive and set up the field goal.
The Mules didn’t take long in adding to their lead. After the kickoff, Hawk hit Ronrei Lloyd for 17 yards and Kirkwood for 18 more to move into Broncho territory. Taylor then ran around left end for 27 yards down to the UCO four and then punched it in on the next play for his second touchdown of the game and a 14-3 lead.
After the Mule defense stopped the Bronchos inside their own 10 and forced a short punt the Mules struck again. After a rush of 12 yards and reception of 12 yards for Taylor, Hawk hit Cullen Rosine for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Mules up 21-3.
The Bronchos responded with a scoring drive of their own. Eckert hit Marquez Clark from 11 yards out to cap the six-play, 85-yard drive. The PAT was no good and UCM led 21-9.
With time running out in the first half and facing a third down from their own 20, Taylor ripped off a 44 yard run to give the Mules a first down at the UCO 36. Three plays later, facing a third and long, Hawk hit Lloyd on the right sideline. He broke a tackle and scampered 35 yards for a touchdown. The extra point hit the upright and UCM led 27-9 at halftime.
The Mules wasted no time in adding to their lead to start the second half. Facing third and seven from their own 28, Hawk hit Lloyd for a 72-yard score and UCM led 34-9.
Central Oklahoma responded with a 13-play, 83-yard drive capped off by a Jake Gandara two-yard touchdown run to pull within 34-16 with 9:17 to play in the third quarter.
The Mules came right back with another score to make it 41-16. Evan Campbell capped a six-play, 75-yard drive with a five yard touchdown run.
Central Missouri closed out the scoring on the second drive of the fourth quarter. Ray Harris ran around left end for an 18-yard score to put UCM in front 48-16. The run capped a seven-play, 70 yard drive.
The Mules totaled 602 yards of total offense, 327 yards through the air and 275 on the ground. It marks the first time UCM has gone over 600 yards of total offense since a 35-7 win over Fort Hays State back on October 15, 2011.
Hawk finished the day 23 of 26 for 321 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor rushed 17 times for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Lloyd hauled in eight receptions for 172 yards and two scores. His sixth straight 100-yard receiving game. He moved into ninth place all-time at UCM with 112 career receptions. He also now ranks sixth all-time with 1,856 receiving yards and is tied for sixth with 16 career touchdown receptions.
Ricky Spratley led the UCM defense with 13 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Ryan Berry finished with seven tackles. As a unit, the defense racked up eight tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks.
Eckert finished the day 21 of 30 for 200 yards and a touchdown for Central Oklahoma. Jake Gandara rushed the ball 17 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Clark had 12 catches for 123 yards and a score.
The Mules return home next Saturday to host Northeastern State on Homecoming. Game time at Walton Stadium/Kennedy Field is set for 1:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on the new 44,000-watt 98.5 The Bar, 1450 KOKO and The Mules Tailgate show begins at 12:10 p.m.