Bulletin Staff Report
CLINTON, Miss. — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets chalked up 10 points in the first quarter, but were held scoreless the rest of the way in their 31-10 American Southwest Conference loss to the Mississippi College Choctaws Saturday at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
Howard Payne (1-8, 1-6) opened the scoring with a 42-yard Jordan Bullard field goal with 11:14 left in the first period. The kick capped an eight-play, 43-yard march.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead, 10-7, with 49 seconds left in the first quarter on a 44-yard Jason Lovvorn to Zach Howard touchdown pass. The scoring toss was the culmination of a five-play, 58-yard trek.
Mississippi College (7-2, 5-2) answered just 21 seconds later with a 69-yard Adam Shaffer to Jake Allen hook up, which gave the Choctaws a 14-10 lead they would never relinquish.
The Choctaws owned a 17-10 halftime lead as Kyle Kruse booted a 40-yard field as time expired in the second period. After intermission, Shaffer found Allen twice more for touchdown tosses of 11 and 50 yards.
Mississippi College — which entered the game ranked first in the ASC in total offense at 503 yards per game — racked up 555 yards against the Howard Payne defense.
Shaffer was 27-of-43 for 402 yards through the air, while Allen finished with seven catches for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
Joe Barker rushed for 113 yards and the Choctaws’ first touchdown — a 27-yard scamper with 3:31 left in the first period — while catching six passes for 78 yards.
Howard Payne was limited to 280 yards of total offense and just 14 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Lovvorn completed 24-of-52 passes for 266 yards with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Jordan Beard caught a team-high nine passes for 77 yards, while Justin Havard added six receptions for 61 yards.
Howard rushed for a team-high 22 yards and caught four passes for 73 yards, including the Yellow Jackets’ touchdown.
Howard Payne will conclude its season on Saturday against No. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor — which is coming off a 72-7 ASC championship-clinching win over East Texas Baptist. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.