CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. --- After spotting host Southeast Missouri State a 28-0 halftime lead, the Tennessee State Tigers made a third-quarter run before the Indians sealed the Tigers' fate with three additional TD's for a 49-25 win.
For TSU, it was again the case of seeing an opponent a big early lead. The Tigers pulled to within 28-18 with three TD's in the second half, but the streaking Indians used the big play to secure the win over the Tigers. TSU drops to 1-5 after its OVC opener. Southeast moves to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in OVC play.
TSU got scoring runs of one and 18 yards from Charles Anthony while true freshman quarterback Dwayne Buchanan hooked up with Carlos Wright on an 82-yard scoring pass. The Tigers missed the first extra point and a try for two points failed on successive occasion, but the Tigers had cut the margin to 10 points near the four-minute mark of the third quarter.
Southeast came back to score on a 20-yard pass from Tomco to Nesmith with seven seconds left in the third quarter. Tomco hooked up with Ponder again, this time from 15 yards out with 13:03 left in the fourth period.
TSU's final score came on a 44-yard screen pass from Buchanan to Anthony. The scoring play made the tally 42-25 with 11:14 remaining.
The final score of the game came on a 6-yard run by Ivan Brown with 7:29 remaining in the game.
The Tigers, who had just 72 total yards in the first half, finished the game with 382 yards total offense. Buchanan finished the game completing 20-24-1 passes for 290 yards and the two TD's. Wright had 16 catches for 116 yards. Anthony, who has been slowed by an ankle sprain, came into the game in the second quarter and finished with 69 yards on 10 carries.
The Tiger defense was led by senior linebacker Jermaine Beale, who had 15 total tackles. Cornerback Deon Giddens had 13 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Southeast Missouri scored its first TD on special teams play. Chris Nesmith returned a Joey Hudak punt and returned the football 44 yards down the sideline for the TD. Derek Kutz's PAT made the score 7-0 at the 9:12 mark of the first period.
Southeast drove 55 yards in 10 plays for the first score in the second quarter. Keiki Misipeka scored on a 1-yard run at the 10:47 mark.
The Indians closed out the first half scoring with a pair of big plays within a span of two minutes. Southeast quarterback Jack Tomco had scoring passes of 39 yards to Tariq Simpson and 44 yards to Willie Ponder.
The Tigers will look to regroup next week in their final non-conference game at Alabama A&M.