McRoberts Has Huge Day in Redhawks 36-19 Loss to Southern Illinois - Southeast Missouri State University Athletics
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McRoberts Has Huge Day in Redhawks 36-19 Loss to Southern Illinois
Paul McRoberts sprints 75 yards to the end zone to tie the game midway in the third quarter

McRoberts Has Huge Day in Redhawks 36-19 Loss to Southern Illinois

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Southeast Missouri (0-3) battled back to tie the game with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Snyder to Paul McRoberts midway through the third quarter, but Southern Illinois (2-2) responded with 17 unanswered points to pull away with a 36-19 victory Saturday afternoon in the first NCAA football game at Busch Stadium.

Southeast trailed, 19-13, when Snyder hit McRoberts in stride. A native of St. Louis, McRoberts secured the ball after it was tipped by a Saluki defender and dashed to the end zone to tie the game with 7:34 left in the third quarter. Alex Knight, however, missed the PAT that would have given the Redhawks the lead.

"I thought we gave a great effort and had our chances," said Southeast head coach Tony Samuel. "This was a great experience for our team to get to play in a game at Busch Stadium. We are still working on some things and are looking forward to opening up Ohio Valley Conference play at home."

After that, SIU responded with a 25-yard field goal by Thomas Kinney and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including an 18-yard pass from Kory Faulkner to MyCole Pruitt and a 9-yard run by Malcolm Agnew to grab the victory.

Southeast and SIU met for the 81st time, this time in front of a crowd of 14,618 at a unique, one of a kind, iconic setting. The attendance was the largest in a game the Redhawks have played against SIU as the home team.

After Southeast came up empty on its opening drive, SIU capitalized on its first possession to take an early lead.

Faulkner's 24-yard pass to John Lantz on a 3rd-and-long kept the Salukis drive alive and Tay Willis followed with a 12-yard run.

Five plays later, Faulkner hooked up with Lantz on an 18-yard touchdown pass, giving SIU a 7-0 advantage with 7:29 left to play in the first quarter. Lantz's touchdown reception capped a 10-play, 77-yard march for SIU.

Snyder engineered a nice 11-play, 74-yard drive to give the Redhawks an immediate answer.

Snyder completed a 23-yard pass to McRoberts and threw a 13-yard completion to Spencer Davis on fourth down to help get Southeast inside SIU's 20-yardline.

Lennies McFerren ran for 13 yards on his first carry of the game to give Southeast a 1st-and-Goal at the five before Snyder threw a 4-yard pass to Davis to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:19 remaining.

SIU regained the lead at the start of the second quarter when Ken Malcome crossed the goal line on a 2-yard run to finish off a 10-play, 58-yard drive. Malcome's touchdown pushed the Salukis lead to 14-7 with 11:47 on the clock.

Austin Pucylowski's 44-yard punt was downed at Southeast's 1-yardline, and the Redhawks later recovered their own fumble in their end zone for a safety, giving SIU a 16-7 lead at the 7:39 mark.

Southeast added another touchdown just before the half when Snyder scrambled out of the pocket to deliver a
3-yard strike to McRoberts with six seconds left. Knight's PAT was blocked, as SIU led 16-13 at the intermission.

McRoberts finished with a game-high five catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. His 75-yard reception tied for the sixth-longest in school history.

Meanwhile, Snyder completed 17-of-33 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Snyder's 249 passing yards were the most in a game by a Redhawk quarterback since Houston Lillard had 331 against Missouri State on Sept. 20, 2008.

"I thought we did some good things, but we need to clean some stuff up and become more consistent offensively," said Snyder.

Faulkner completed 16-of-30 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns, and Agnew ran for 127 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to lead SIU.

SIU outgained Southeast, 209-53, on the ground and held a 409-302 advantage in total yards. The 53 rushing yards were the Redhawks fewest in a game under Samuel since Nov. 8, 2008 (at Murray State).

Defensively, Ben Kargbo, Ron Davis and Wisler Ymonice led Southeast with nine tackles each. Daniel Siehndel and Buck Wilson added one interception apiece, as well.

A total of 26 different Redhawks from the metropolitan St. Louis areas returned home to play in a football game at Busch Stadium today.

Southeast returns to Cape Girardeau to host UT Martin in its home-opener on Sept. 28. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., CT, at Missouri National Guard Field/Houck Stadium. That game will be played during Southeast's Family Weekend.

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