UNO scored the go-ahead touchdown with :30 left for a 62-61 victory over Truman State in the season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon in Kirksville, Missouri.
More than 600 yards of offensive were accumulated in the first half as each team scored four touchdowns through both the air and on the ground. After the Mavs went three-and-out on their first possession, Truman marched downfield with an eight-play, 48-yard drive capped off with a Phillip Davis two-yard TD run for a 6-0 Bulldog lead. The extra point was blocked.
But UNO (5-6, 5-4 MIAA) bounced right back getting a nine-yard run by Justin Coleman less than a minute-and-a-half later to start the seesawing that would carry through for the rest of the first half.
The teams alternated scores the rest of the half with Truman (4-7, 2-7 MIAA) getting a 31-yard TD pass from Davis to Anthony Brown, a 42-yard pass from Davis to Dallas Grier and a seven-yard run by Donald Harvey to account for its 26 points.
Davis and UNO quarterback John Teigland combined to go 17-for-20 and 364 yards along with four touchdown passes with Truman’s big numbers coming in the passing game (Grier, 3 catches for 65 yards; Brown, 2 catches for 47 yards) and UNO’s coming through the ground in the form of Levi Terrell’s nine carries and 127 yards. All three found the end zone. The Mavs lead 28-26 at halftime.
A second Terrell touchdown cut Truman’s lead to 40-35 with 9:23 to play in the third quarter, but Truman marched right back downfield and capped a nine-play, 64-yard, 4:54 drive with Davis’ fourth touchdown of the day and second on the ground, as the senior ran through a hole from two yards out to put the Bulldogs ahead by 12 again at 47-35 with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
A 16-yard touchdown pass from Teigland to Austin Wells on 2:27 drive cut the Bulldog lead to 47-41, but UNO then missed the extra point to keep Truman ahead by six.
Then, keyed by a 66-yard QB keeper by Davis got the Bulldogs down to UNO’s 19-yard line, Harvey scored his third TD of the day by getting into the end zone from 12 yards out three plays later and with the third quarter nearing a close, Truman held a 54-41 advantage.
Teigland threw his fourth TD pass of the game, hitting Wells again from 11 yards out and cutting the gap to 54-48 with 10:17 on the clock.
Another huge Bulldog play opened up the offense as Harvey rattled off a 44-yard run, juking by two UNO defenders in the process to get down to the Maverick 11. Two plays later, Davis connected again with Grier, hitting the freshman on a 4-yard TD pass to give the Bulldogs a 13-point cushion at 61-48.
Following a 1-yard touchdown run by Terrell and subsequent extra point that cut Truman’s lead to 61-55, the Bulldogs couldn’t convert on a 4th-and-3 from the UNO 35-yard line, giving the Mavs the ball back with 1:57 to play and no timeouts.
Teigland led UNO down the field, getting to Truman’s 20-yard line, but, with :37.9 on the clock, it was the Mavs’ turn to face a fourth down, looking at 4th-and-10. Teigland’s pass went incomplete, but Truman was flagged for pass interference, giving UNO a first down to set up a touchdown pass from Teigland to Higgins from five yards out, giving the Mavs a 62-61 lead with :30.4 to play.
Terrell had 226 yards rushing on 23 attempts while Teigland completed 20-of-31 passes for 314 yards and five touchdowns.
The two schools accounted for 1,167 total yards.