Howard Payne football team drops spring finale to Belhaven

Staff report
Howard Payne quarterback Landon McKinney (10) lets go of a pass during Saturday’s game against Hardin-Simmons at Shelton Stadium on March 13, 2021. The Cowboys improved to 3-0 with the 41-14 win.

The Howard Payne University football team ended its season with a 38-17 loss to Belhaven in an American Southwest Conference playoff game Saturday, March 27, at Gordon Wood Stadium.

Down 14-0, the Yellow Jackets scored toward the close of the opening period on a Landon McKinney 1-yard run with 1:33 left.

On the Jackets' next possession, Jake Parker hauled in a 72-yard Landon McKinney pass for a touchdown with 14:14 left in the second quarter, tying the game at 14-14.

Belhaven outscored HPU 24-3 the rest of the way.

Belhaven scored with seven seconds remaining in the second quarter to take a 24-14 lead into halftime.

The Jackets pulled within 24-17 on a 25-yard field goal by Blake Phipps with 9:28 to go in the third quarter.

Belhaven scored two touchdowns in the opening three minutes of the final quarter to pull away.

McKinney was 16-of-32 passing for 215 yards and one TD. Tauren Bradley led the HPU running attack with nine carries for 79 yards. Parker was the Jackets' top receiver with six catches for 121 yards and a TD.

Peyton Lowe led the HPU defensive unit with a game-high 16 tackles (11 solo), one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Kyle Bell had 14 tackles (seven solo), Jarett Brown had 10 tackles (eight solo), and Dylan Zeno finished with seven tackles and one interception.

The Yellow Jackets finish the shortened spring 2021 season with a 2-3 overall record. Belhaven finished 3-2.