Mules run away from Bronchos for 31-19 win on homecoming

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The Central Missouri Mules accumulated more than 400 yards in total offense and ran away from 22nd-ranked Central Oklahoma for a 31-19 win in front of 9,783 fans on homecoming on Saturday afternoon at Walton Stadium/Kennedy Field.
The Mules (5-2, 5-2 MIAA) got on the board on their first drive of the game with an eight-yard Hayden Hawk touchdown run early in the first quarter. It capped a six-play, 43 yard drive and gave UCM a 7-0 lead with 11:13 to play in the first quarter.
The Bronchos (5-2, 5-2 MIAA) drove near midfield on their next possession, but were forced to punt. The Mules took over at their own 23 and marched 77 yards in eight plays for aLaVance Taylor 10-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
Central Oklahoma got on the board midway through the second quarter. The Bronchos took over at their own 13 and drove 64 yards in 15 plays. Seth Hiddink drilled a 40-yard field goal to pull UCO within 14-3 and that’s where it stood at halftime.
Both teams went three and out on their first drives of the second half and following a 44-yard punt by UCO, the Mules took over at their own 36 yard line. On the eighth play of the drive, Hawk hit Kyle Echols for a 21-yard score and UCM led 21-3.
The Bronchos took the ensuing possession 74 yards in nine plays, but couldn’t punch it in the end zone. Jake Gandara had a 41-yard run down to the UCM four, but a pair of runs and an incomplete pass forced a field goal try. Hiddink was good from 20 and the score was 21-6.
UCO drove deep into UCM territory early in the fourth quarter, but Connor Smith‘s interception in the end zone halted another Broncho drive and kept the score 21-6. Facing a second and 10 from the 20 yard line, Taylor ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run and UCM led 28-6.
The Mules tacked on three more points on their next possession with a Mondragon 19-yard field goal and led 31-6 with just over nine minutes to play in the game.
UCO took the ensuing possession 83 yards in eight plays for their first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Chas Stallard rushed up the middle for one yard to give the Bronchos their first touchdown of the game and cut the UCM lead to 31-13.
Following a UCM three and out, the Bronchos got the ball back at their own 25. Nine plays and 75 yards later, Stallard rushed it in from 10 yards out and the score was 31-19. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
The Mules recovered the onside kick and were able to run out the clock for their fourth straight win.
UCM finished with 444 yards of total offense, including 266 on the ground and 178 through the air. Taylor finished with 228 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Hawk was 11-of-19 for 178 yards with a touchdown. Echols had three catches for 104 yards and a score.
Defensively, J.R. Alexander led UCM with eight tackles and an interception. Five different players finished with seven tackles each for UCM. The defense combined on six tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks.
The Bronchos were led by Gandara’s 120 yards rushing on 15 carries. Stallard had 51 yards on 20 carries and scored twice. He was 31-of-43 passing for 312 yards, but was sacked five times.
Malcolm Howard and Logan Orso each had nine tackles to lead the UCO defense. Chass Glaspie had seven tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss.
The Mules are back in action next Saturday at Northeastern State. Kickoff from Doc Wadley Stadium in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is set for 1 p.m.