Dragons Fall to SMSU in Home Opener, 51-35

MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- Six turnovers spelled doom for the Minnesota State University Moorhead football team in a 51-35 home loss to Southwest Minnesota State in action Thursday night at Scheels Field in Moorhead, Minn.

MSUM fell to 1-1 overall and in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference while SMSU improved to 1-1 overall and in the league.

The Dragons never led in the game and have lost seven straight in the series with SMSU.

Senior quarterback Demetrius Carr was 21-of-46 for 419 yards and three touchdowns but was also intercepted five times. Senior receiver Damon Gibson had seven catches for 174 yards and a score while senior Hunter Braaten had four catches for 97 yards and a score. Redshirt freshman Grady Bresnahan had four catches for 89 yards and a score.

Senior running back Austin Stone and Carr rushed for touchdowns.

Senior defensive end Drew Lingle led the defense with 10 tackles and a sack while junior linebacker Carter Thiel had nine. Sophomore defensive lineman Miles Baggett had 3.5 tackles for loss.

SMSU scored first to take a 7-0 lead but MSUM answered quickly, going 80 yards on five plays, capped off by a 26-yard pass from Carr to Gibson.

The Mustangs scored to make it 14-7. The Dragons had a golden chance to tie the game after Bresnahan returned a short punt down to the Mustang 15. Carr was intercepted by JD Jackson-Hanchet in the end zone on the next play to end the threat.

SMSU added 10 more points in the second to make it 24-7. The Dragons got within 10 at 24-14 with Bresnahan caught a 30-yard scoring pass from Carr with 4:39 left. The Mustangs added another field goal late in the half and in the final seconds, recovered a Dragon fumble and rushed down to the 1-yard line. SMSU scored to make it 34-14.

MSUM cut the lead to 34-21 in the third as Braaten hauled in a 35-yard pass with 11:48 left. SMSU scored the next 14 points to push the lead to 48-21. The Dragons answered when Carr scored from three yards out with 3:13 left in the third.

The Dragons had the ball back in the fourth down 48-35 but turned the ball over on downs. SMSU added another field goal to make it 51-35.

Steve d'Eustachio Stat of the Game: The Dragons have now dropped four straight versus Southwest Minnesota State in Moorhead. Their last home win versus the Mustangs was a 37-16 victory on Oct. 8, 2005 which ended the Dragons' school record 16-game losing streak.