Cape Girardeau, Mo. - The Tigers scored 14 unanswered points in the second half but it was not enough to overcome a 16-point deficit at the break. Despite holding the Redhawks scoreless in the second half, Tennessee State University fell short, 19-17, to FCS No. 25 Southeast Missouri State in OVC play at Houck Stadium.
TSU (3-3, 0-2) finished with 299 yards on offense while giving up a season-high 439 total yards including 390 on the ground. The loss snaps a two-game win streak.
Dante' Thomas rushed for 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4 avg.), his second straight game over 100-yards, to lead the offense with Jeremy Perry connecting 16-of-28 for 147 yards throwing one interception.
Terrence Wright scored the only two touchdowns for TSU finishing with 29 yards on nine touts. Wright reached the end zone on a 6-yard run in the third, capping a 13-play, 67-yard drive after the Tigers recovered a SEMO fumble.
In the fourth, TSU stayed alive when Wright scored again on a 9-yard run to end a 10-play, 82-yard drive, with 6:43 remaining.
The Tigers stopped SEMO's following possession with a first career interception by Andrew Taylor at the TSU 36-yard-line to give the offense an opportunity to take the lead. However, a costly penalty on a fourth-down attempt forced a punt with the Redhawks notching two first downs to run out the clock.
The first half was the deciding factor in the ball game when the Tigers gathered 103 yards of offense with a time of possession of 9:03. After trailing 12-0, the Tigers only score in the first half was a career long 42-yard field goal by Jamin Godfrey.
TSU's defense slowed SEMO down in the second behind career highs from Rico Council and Sidney Tarver. Council finished with a game-high, 15 tackles, (6 solo) with Tarver following with 11 stops (9 solo) posting the only sack of the game.
For the Redhawks (5-1, 4-0), the ground attack was spearheaded by Henry Harris and Matt Scheible gathering 258 yards before the break. Harris rushed for 188 yards (6.5 avg.) on 29 carries for one touchdown. Scheible added 137 yards on 16 attempts rushing for one touchdown and throwing for another. He connected with Cedric Cox with 33 seconds left in the second to help SEMO score all 19 of their points in the second quarter.
The win gives SEMO their longest win streak ever at five games since moving to Division I competition.
The Tigers will continue OVC play when they travel to Jacksonville, Ala. to face Jacksonville State. The game is scheduled for October 16th at Paul Snow Stadium with kick-off slated for 3:00 p.m.