TIGERS ESCAPE WITH HOMECOMING VICTORY
NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State survived a second half rally by visiting Southeast Missouri to hold on and escape with a 38-36 homecoming victory Saturday night. The Tigers opened a 38-13 lead early in the third period, but the visiting Indians scored 23 unanswered points. Southeast had a chance to take the lead, but a 27-yard field goal attempt by Derek Kutz, who had connected on three earlier field goals, including a 51-yarder, sailed wide with 4:10 remaining in the game. The Tigers then kept the ball the remainder of the game and were at Southeast's 21-yard line when the game ended. "We were able to play through our mistakes, and certainly it was good to get a win," said TSU head coach James Reese. "We had the big lead, but to Southeast's credit they made some adjustments and came back. To our players' credit, we were able to hang on and get a needed victory." All-American running back Charles Anthony rushed for 252 yards and scored one touchdown on a season-long 80-yard run that gave TSU a 38-13 lead at the 11:34 mark of the third period. Bryson Rosser made the start at quarterback and threw four TD passes, two going to Fred Burnett of 45 and 41 yards with a span of 23 seconds in the second period. Rosser also threw a 33-yard strike to Kevin Hollis in the second period and a 17-yard pass to tight end Eddie Woods following a Southeast fumble on the second half kickoff. TSU led 24-13 at the half and had expanded the lead to 25 points less than four minutes into the third period, but would not score again. Southeast quarterback Andrew Goodenough threw three second half TD passes, to lead the Indians' charge. Kutz's 51-yard field goal had given Southeast an early 3-0 lead and he had a 21-yarder as the first half ended and added a 20-yard kick at the 9:39 mark to account for Southeast's final points. Southeast's only first half TD came on an 85-yard kickoff return by Romae Rucker. The Tigers 38 points were the most scored since the season-opening win over Alabama A&M. TSU finished with 458 yards total offense, compared to Southeast's 365 yards. The Indians had 292 yards through the air as Goodenough was 54-30-0 passing. The game took three hours and 37 minutes to play. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Tigers (4-5, 2-3 OVC). TSU also captured its ninth straight homecoming win. Southeast falls to 2-7 and 2-4.