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Southwest Baptist hangs on for 21-17 win over Truman

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Mygeish Dennis broke up Jaden Barr's pass to Jordan Jorgenson on fourth and goal to give Southwest Baptist a 21-17 victory over the Truman Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs led 17-7 after Barr was pushed into the endzone at the end of the first half and pushed again at the start of the second half Truman's two touchdowns. Danny Spencer added a 21-yard field goal to give Truman a 10-point lead with 5:59 left in the third quarter.

The Bearcats found their offensive rhythm late in the third as T.J. Edwards used his arm and feet to engineer a 13-play, 90-yard drive to cut the lead to 17-14. Edwards scored on a one-yard plunge.

SBU got the Bulldogs off the field quickly and had the ball at midfield. A pair of strikes to Kendrick Payne followed by a 22-yard pass for the go ahead score to Jerminic Smith gave the Bearcats the lead with 10 minutes left to play.

Following another three and out, SBU took 5:19 off the fourth quarter clock but Jordan LeClair's 47-yard field goal was wide right giving Truman a chance for the win.

Truman took over at their own 30 with 3:58 to play and Barr quickly found Drew Slager for 14 yards however the drive looked like it was going to stall out as Truman faced a fourth and 11. Barr scrambled on the play and got Jake Ellis for a 30-yard strike to move the chains and keep hopes alive. Later, Barr hit Jorgenson for 12 yards to make it first and goal from the seven.

SBU tightened up and Quinlan Gaines knocked away a pass to Ellis in the endzone then forced Barr on a run to the five on second down. On third down, Barr got outside but was forced out of bounds back at the seven by Brycen Gagnon. Following a timeout, Barr tried to hit Jorgenson in the back of the endzone but Dennis broke up the pass to preserve the win. It was SBU's first win at Stokes Stadium in 12 attempts dating back to 1988 and only fourth victory over Truman in 27 meetings.

The Bearcats held Truman to only 2.3 yards per rush as Jordan Salima had 66 yards on 28 carries. Barr added 38 yards on 18 attempts while also throwing for a career high 275 yards on 23 completions. Slager caught seven passes for a season-high 102 yards and a long of 40.

SBU's Larry Nixon had 90 rushing yards on 16 attempts and Edwards added 79 yards on the ground. Edwards completed 16-of-24 for 189 with Smith catching six balls for 101.

Truman will step outside of conference action as they will welcome one of the nation's premier programs to Kirksville next Saturday. Nationally ranked Grand Valley (Mich.) State will be the opponent at 2 p.m.

Courtesy of Truman State Athletics

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