Wild second half lifts UCM

Democrat Staff

Democrat Staff

In a second half in which the teams scored a combined 70 points, the Central Missouri football team rallied to beat Central Oklahoma 45-42 on Saturday.

The Mules trailed 25-26 early in the fourth quarter before scoring the next 19 points. Austin Miller returned an interception to set UCM up at the Bronchos 7-yard line before Josh Pickrell scored a few plays later. A muffed punt on the next possession again set the Mules up in Central Oklahoma territory and Markel Smith put the Mules in front three plays later with a 30-yard touchdown.

UCM then made a defensive stand with 1:09 to play and Garrett Fugate rushed 87 yards up the middle to give the Mules an insurance touchdown. UCO scored with :01 left before UCM recovered the squib kick.

UCM led 10-7 at halftime before Billy Greco hit a 31-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter to extend the lead. Central Oklahoma answered as TJ Eckert hit Myles Tease for a 71-yard touchdown pass to put the Bronchos ahead 14-13.

The teams traded touchdowns and the lead on the next few possessions before UCO scored to take a 35-26 lead.

The teams combined for 1,214 yards of total offense.

Fugate was 20-of-37 passing for 239 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 178 yards and two scores. He had 417 yards of total offense, the 10th highest single-game total in Central Missouri history.

The Mules (5-2, 5-2 MIAA) host Northeastern State on Saturday.

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