CLINTON - The Mississippi College football team had their three-game win streak snapped on "Homecoming" with a 35-32 loss to Texas Lutheran on Saturday afternoon at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The Choctaws (3-4) made a valiant effort down the stretch when junior Jonathon Redd scrambled in from 19 yards out and converted a two-point conversion to cut the Bulldogs' (6-0) lead to three points with just 4:04 remaining.
On the next possession, the MC defense forced a 4th-and-1 with 2:22 remaining at the TLU 37-yard line, but Drake Dowling got the first down on a 21-yard fake-punt run to clinch the victory. The Bulldogs eventually punted, but MC had just 11 seconds remaining and TLU intercepted a last-gasp effort.
The Choctaws outgained the Bulldogs, 428-373, and held the ball for nearly five more minutes, but three turnovers proved costly to MC's effort to win their fourth straight game.
On MC's opening drive, Adam McGuire intercepted his third pass of the year and set up a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brent Peavy to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. TLU went 61 yards on eight plays in 2:09.
On the next possession, Dowling picked up a Choctaw fumble and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown to push TLU's lead to 14-0 with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.
The Choctaws got on the board early in the second quarter when Redd ran in from two yards out to cut the Bulldog lead to 14-7. The score was set up by a 45-yard completion from Redd to junior Jaime Harris that put the ball on the two-yard line.
For the game, Redd had another outstanding effort with 289 total yards and three scores. He threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 59 yards and the two scores.
The Bulldogs would answer on the ensuing drive when Brent Peavy found Lewis Williams II for a 55-yard touchdown pass and push the lead to 21-7. Williams led TLU with five catches for 106 yards and the score.
The Choctaws would not back down on their next possession, going 74 yards on 12 plays and eating up 4:28 to score a touchdown on a nine-yard pass from sophomore Stacey Dillard to senior Alex Archer.
The score would remain 21-14 going into halftime, but the Bulldogs wasted no time pushing the lead back out to two scores with a touchdown on their opening possession. Marquis Barrolle rushed in from eight yards out to cap a 60-yard drive.
Junior Hunter Estess nailed a 32-yard field goal on MC's next possession to cut the TLU lead to 28-17 with 6:08 remaining in the third quarter.
The Choctaw defense forced a punt on the next possession, but TLU fumbled the deep snap and MC recovered on the Bulldog 49-yard line. The Choctaws took advantage by marching down for a touchdown on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Redd to junior Mike Johnson.
On the day, Johnson had 58 rushing yards on 17 carries and caught three passes for 51 yards and the score the cut the Bulldog lead to 28-24 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
The two teams traded punts, but the Bulldogs would push the lead out to 35-24 with 10:59 remaining in the game when Barrolle scored a 48-yard touchdown, capping off a five-play, 87-yard drive. Barrolle rushed for 128 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns.
The Choctaws would cut the lead to 35-23 with 4:04 remaining on Redd's 19-yard run, but the Bulldogs' fake punt finished the game and kept TLU perfect on the season at 6-0.
Freshman Dossie Rivers was the leading receiver for MC with five catches for 62 yards.
Freshman Reginald Bennett led MC with 12 tackles, including 11 solo stops. Junior Jake Weddle had 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss and one sacks. Senior Doc Ward had two sacks to go along with his six tackles in the game.
Ty Johnson led Texas Lutheran with 10 tackles, while Bryan Doolittle had seven tackles with three for a loss and two sacks.
The Choctaws will get back on the road next weekend when they travel to Marshall, Texas to face East Texas Baptist at 2:00 p.m.