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Football Falls to SEC Opponent in Opener

The Coyotes traveled to Columbia, MO, for their first game of the 2023 season on Aug. 31 to take on the Missouri Tigers.

On Missouri’s second possession of the game, they took the lead when junior quarterback Brady Cook connected with sophomore receiver Mekhi Miller for an 18-yard touchdown with 7:47 left in the first quarter.

Missouri graduate running back Nathaniel Peat would tack on another touchdown with a 1-yard rush up the middle with 3:19 remaining in the first. The Tigers led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. 

South Dakota scored their first points of the season with a 40-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Will Leyland to cut the Tiger lead to 14-3 with 13:51 in the second quarter.

Missouri punched in two more touchdowns before the half, the first being a 2-yard rush from graduate running back Cody Schrader and the second was a 15-yard rush from Cook.

The score would remain 28-3 until the fourth quarter when South Dakota’s redshirt sophomore Mike Mansaray hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Aidan Bouman. This touchdown drive came after an interception by junior defensive back Myles Harden.

Missouri would score again on a 15-yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Horn to sophomore receiver Luther Burden late in the fourth quarter.

The final score was 35-10 for the first game of the season for the Coyotes.

Bouman completed 15 of his 25 pass attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown, while rushing six times for six yards.

Junior running back Travis Theis rushed 17 times for 44 yards. Mansaray carried the ball 10 times for 19 yards, adding a 6-yard touchdown grab.

Sophomore receiver Jack Martens led the team with eight receptions for 89 yards. Junior receiver Carter Bell tallied four catches for 39 yards.

Defensively, senior defensive linemen Brendan Webb and Micah Roane came together for a sack. Harden brought in the only turnover of the game. Sophomore cornerback Shahid Barros led the team with seven total tackles.

As for Missouri, starting quarterback Cook completed 17 of his 21 attempts for 172 yards and a touchdown, while adding a rushing touchdown as well. 

Backup quarterback Horn completed three of his five for 54 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a quarter and a half of play. 

Schrader carried the ball 18 times for a game high of 138 yards and a touchdown. Both Burden and Miller finished the game with a receiving touchdown.

The Coyotes fall to 0-1 as they look to get to .500 when they face off against St. Thomas on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. in the DakotaDome.