Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State University Tigers snapped a two-game skid, defeating Southeast Missouri State, 23-17, in Ohio Valley Conference play at LP Field Saturday evening.
In front of a crowd of 6, 314, the Tigers (2-3, 1-0) opened their conference schedule with their first home victory of the year behind quarterback Calvin McNairl's career rushing performance.
McNairl accounted for all of TSU's touchdowns. He rushed for 122 yards on 20 carries (6.1 ypc) with two scores while dishing his best passing execution of the year, throwing 10 of 15 with an interception and touchdown.
Following a SEMO turnover in the first quarter, McNairl capped a 35-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to give TSU a 7-0 lead.
After a SEMO 47-yard field goal narrowed the score, 7-3, in the second quarter, McNairl found Joseph Hills for a 14-yard touchdown.
The score gave TSU a 13-3 advantage after a failed point-after attempt. Hills led all receivers with seven receptions for 69 yards tacking on his second score of the year.
On the offense, TSU finished with a season high 354 yards with 259 yards on the ground. For the defense, the Tigers held the Redhawks (1-4, 0-3) to 88 yards rushing on 28 attempts.
With under two minutes before the break, SEMO retaliated when Miles Edwards scored on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Matt Scheible to close the gap, 13-10. Scheible finished 13 of 34 for 173 yards with an interception and two touchdowns.
For the Redhawks' defense, linebacker Justin Woodlief led all defenders with 14 tackles with Bryan Blanfort following with 10.
In the third quarter at the 4:54 mark, kicker Brian Vipond nailed his first collegiate-career field goal from 41 yards out to extend the TSU lead 16-10.
Midway through the fourth quarter, McNairl returned to the end-zone breaking four tackles on a 13-yard run for a 23-10 TSU lead. The Redhawks would have a chance to even the game after Scheible found Walter Peoples for an 18-yard touchdown with 1:09 remaining to make the score 23-17. The Redhawks' ensuing onside attempt was recovered by the Tigers to seal the victory.
The Tigers return to action when they venture to Richmond, Ky. to face Eastern Kentucky in OVC play. The match-up is scheduled for October 10th at 5 p.m.