UNK to Host Central Missouri

Kearney, Neb. – The 25th/21st-ranked Nebraska Kearney football team starts a rare two-game home stand when Central Missouri comes to Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field this Saturday. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. Those not attendance can listen live (The River 93.1/106.9 KRVN FM), watch live (The MIAA Network) or follow along with live stats. UNK (2-1) hosts Fort Hays State (1-2) next Saturday (Oct. 1) at 7 p.m. This is the first time in six years the Lopers have had back-to-back home games.

This will be the 13th all-time meeting between the Lopers and Mules (0-3). UCM holds a 9-3 series advantage and is 5-1 all-time in Kearney. UNK’s lone home win in the series came back in 1973. Last year in Warrensburg, quarterback TJ Davis (Colorado Springs) scored with 22 seconds left, capping a 70-yard drive, to help the Lopers post a 31-28 victory. Davis was limited to 45 rushing yards on 21 carries; he had 43 yards on 23 attempts in a 2019 home loss to UCM. The Mules have a strong defense as they gave up just 21 points in the opener at No. 14/#6 Pittsburg State and 24 last week at No. 2/3 Northwest Missouri State. Central Missouri also has had the toughest schedule to date as its first four opponents are currently a combined 10-1 and all nationally ranked.

First-year head coach Josh Lamberson, who was the Lopers head coach between 2014-16, has a young offense led by Lincoln High graduate Cedric Case. The redshirt sophomore QB is in his first year as a starter and has thrown four TD’s, two interceptions while running for 61 yards and a score. One of his favorite targets is former Loper receiver Xavier Jackson. The UNK graduate has a combined 222 yards on 33 touches and two TD’s. The St. Louis native, as a Loper, took a redshirt in 2019 and then played in the two 2020 “COVID” games. He began his career at the College of DuPage (Ill.). Returning 2021 All-MIAA players on this side of the ball are receiver Arkell Smith and guards Kyle Linville and Dan Sunderman. Through three games UCM is at 16 points and 265 yards per game. The defense is allowing just 3.7 yards per carry, has an MIAA-best five INT’s and made four stops in the red zone. Redshirt senior backer Travis DeGrate (18 tackles) leads the way with redshirt sophomore safety Noah Blair at a team-best 32 stops and two INT’s. A talented line features upperclassmen David Olajiga and Ca’Maurie Johnson.

Source: Regional Sports

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