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**For Immediate Release**
Aggies Drop Tough Season Opener
-By Daulton Perry on 09/02/2012
Rolla, Mo.-The OPSU Aggies traveled to Rolla, Mo. on Saturday to take on the
Miners of Missouri University of Science and Technology and took a tough
55-14 loss to start out the season. First games with a new team members
still learning how to play with one another are always a challenge and so
many things that new head coaches envision don't always come to fruition.
The game did not start the way the Aggies coaching staff wanted as an
unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was issued during the opening kickoff that
gave the Miners excellent field position to start their opening drive. Seven
plays later, M S&T running back Curt Golden put the Miners on top 7-0 with a
16-yard touchdown run. The Miners added a field goal and lead 10-0 at the
end of the first quarter.
On the Miners first drive of the 2nd quarter, quarterback Josh Firm
connected with wide receiver Leon Moody for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Their
next possession was a one-man show as Miners running back Scott Hendricks
rushed the ball five times for 63 yards and capped it off with a nine-yard
touchdown run. On the ensuing possession, the Aggies went three and out and
were forced to punt the ball away. The Miners' Carl Westbrook returned the
punt 58 yards for a touchdown. The Miners led at half 31-0.
The Aggies offensive struggles carried over into the second half as their
mishaps of handling the ball resulted in great field possession for the
Miners. After a turnover by the Aggies two plays into their second half
drive, the Miners drove down the field and Firm connected with wide receiver
Smook Thomas for a 28-yard touchdown pass to extend their lead to 38-0. The
Miners would get the ball back after an Aggies three and out and a great
punt return set them up for a 14-yard touchdown pass for Firm to Isaiah
Culver. Late in the third quarter, the Aggies finally found the end zone
with a 27-yard touchdown pass for Holbrook to Nick Collins. Aggies trailed
45-7 going into the final quarter.
Missouri S&T answered right back with a 12-play, 73-yard drive that was
capped with a 10-yard touchdown pass from back up quarterback Reed Brown to
wide receiver Marc-Alan Tucker. The Aggies responded with their own
impressive 10-play, 70-yard drive that quarterback Justin Billiot ended with
a three-yard touchdown run. The Miners added another field goal before the
final whistle was blown and came away with the victory.
The Aggies rushed the ball 44 times for a net total of 124 yards and
completed 8 passes for 122 yards, but they key factor into the decision was
ball handling. The Aggies fumbled the ball ten times and lost four of those.
With a new system in place, it takes time to work out all of the kinks and
this game will be a stepping stone for the Aggies to improve and keep
working hard for their upcoming home game against Lindenwood
University-Belleville this Saturday night at 7 p.m
Oklahoma Panhandle State Univ.
Campus Communications Dir.
Sports Information Dir.