Salima & the Dogs play keep-a-way and rally for 17-14 win
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Truman Bulldogs rallied from 14 points down with a dominating second half to defeat McKendree 17-14 on Senior Day at Stokes Stadium.
The Bulldogs (5-6; 4-3 GLVC) ran the ball and eye-popping 71 times, four off a school record, with sophomore running back Jordan Salima setting a career high with 194 yards on 41 attempts. Salima averaged 4.8 yards per run. Quarterback Jaden Barr carried the ball another 17 times for 87 yards and tossed for 39 yards and a score.
Truman ran for 299 yards and possessed the ball for over 43 minutes. In the second half, the Bulldogs limited McKendree to only 13 offensive plays and four minutes and 17 seconds of possession time.
The Bearcats (7-4; 5-2 GLVC) scored on consecutive possessions in the first half. Shayeen Edwards scored on a 12-yard run and Jalyn Williams hauled in a 48-yard pass from Reece Metcalf on the first play of the second quarter for the lead.
From there it was mostly Truman. Malique Robbins returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards and eight plays later Salima crossed the goal line for a nine-yard touchdown run.
Truman threatened again right before half but McKendree denied the Bulldogs on fourth and goal at the one.
The teams exchanged possessions to start the third quarter before the Bulldogs churned out a 15-play, 52-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock. They converted on a pair of fourth downs on the drive before Barr found Jake Ellis in the back of the endzone for the tying score at 1:42 in the third.
Truman forced a three and out and took over at their own 22. On the first play, Barr found Jacob Morris out of the backfield for 21 yards. Later, Barr scrambled on third and five for an 11-yard gain down to the Bearcat 14. The Bulldogs could not punch it in but Danny Spencer hit from 28-yards out for the 17-14 lead.
Ben Chaney and Travis Myerson came up with a big third down stop to halt a McKendree possession at midfield on their next series of downs.
Truman's drive was also stopped at their own 48 but a muffed punt by Derrick Curry was recovered by Taylor Manes that sealed the victory. Truman punched the ball down to the four before taking a knee.
Salima gained for 195 yards on 41 attempts with a long of 20. He went over 1,000 yards for the first time as a Bulldog and finished his sophomore season with 1,111 yards and nine touchdowns. He became the 20th Bulldog running back to gain over 1,000 in a season.
Barr set a new single-game record with 81 offensive plays breaking the 2002 and 1985 records held by Dusty Burk and Chris Hegg of 76. He completed 5-of-10 for only 39 yards with a long of 21.
McKendree was led by Edwards with 87 yards on the ground and Metcalf finished with 113 through the air with 13-of-22 passing. Austin Weltha led the Bearcats with 20 total tackles.
The game was played in a crisp two hours and 11 minutes, no doubt setting a record for an NCAA Football game this season.