CAPE GIRAREDAU, Mo. --- It was a scene all too familiar for the Tennessee State football team as miscues and costly turnovers help lead the way to a 32-24 Ohio Valley Conference football loss at Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers had a blocked punt that set up a 1-yard TD drive, two fumbles deep inside Southeast's territory, and another fumble that led to a Southeast TD.
Despite all the misfortune, the Tigers did show fight and were in position for a chance to win the game until the safety and a late Southeast TD within a span of less than two minutes in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers rolled up a season high 427 yards of total offense in the game. Redshirt freshman Javarris Williams rushed 126 yards on 28 times, the third time in his brief career that he crossed the 100-yard mark in game. Quarterback Richard Hartman was 24-38 passing for a career-high 286 yards and two TD's. Gerald Morrow had nine catches for 115 yards.
Hartman had a fumble for a loss as TSU was driving in the first half at the 16-yard line. He later recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a safety that made the score 25-17 with 4:05 remaining.
The lead stretched to 32-17 on a Tim Holloman 44-yard run with 2:17 left.
Williams scored on a 1-yard run with 1:08 left, but the ensuing onsides kick was recovered by Southeast and the Redhawks proceeded to run out the clock.
The game turned into a shootout in the second half. After Southeast blocked a punt on TSU's first possession and missed the extra point, the 6-0 score stood until early in the third period after a Tiger fumble led to a field goal. Southeast extended the lead after TSU Michah Streiff fumbled a center snap on a punt attempt.
After a pass interference call, Southeast's Elton Peterson scored on a 15-yard run to make the score 16-0 at the 5:20 mark.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard as Lance Blocker's first college catch from Hartman was a 9-yard scoring play. Maurice Young ran for the two-point conversion.
After an Eric Benson 36-yard field goal that made the score 16-11, Southeast answered with a 32-yard scoring pass from Mike Haley to T.J. Milcic.
The Tigers came back quickly as Hartman threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Chris Johnson to make the score 23-17 with 7:19 left.
However, that would be the closest TSU would get as Southeast tacked on the safety and insurance TD.