Now senior quarterback Jason Shelly celebrates with former teammate Isaac Smith. The Missouri State Bears won 31-23 against the South Dakota Coyotes on Sept. 25, 2021.

The Missouri State football team played their third game of the season facing the University of Arkansas on Saturday and lost, 38-27. 

The Bears faced head coach Bobby Petrino’s former football team and that was something that neither team will forget. 

The Bears and Razorbacks took the field, and the first 12 minutes went by with both teams remaining scoreless. At 2:47, sophomore running back Jacardia Wright made a run with the addition of a 28-yard. field goal from junior kicker Jose Pizano which made the score 10-0. 

The Razorbacks then attempted to make a 35-yard touchdown, but was called down at the 1-yard line with 1:02 left in the first quarter. 

The clock ran down and the first quarter came to an end with the Bears in the lead, 7-0.

The second quarter then began. In the first 10 minutes of the game, Missouri State makes a fourth down. At 13:25, a 28 yard field goal kick is attempted and made by Pizano with the score being 10-0 for the Bears.

Arkansas later gained possession of the ball, but an incomplete pass was made and flags were thrown for the Razorbacks due to pass interference. 

At 12:06, the Bears made up some ground and with 10:36 left of the quarter, senior quarterback Jason Shelley made a 24-yard touchdown and made the score 17-0. 

The Razorbacks had possession and shortly after, they had a touchdown opportunity. The first Arkansas touchdown came about halfway through the second quarter, the score now 17-7, but the Bears are still in the lead. 

With false start mistakes made by MSU and 1:05 left of the quarter, Arkansas scored another touchdown, leaving the score at 17-13 going into halftime. 

Third quarter, both teams were back and forth with the ball as well as flags being called. Soon with five minutes left, Arkansas made a field goal kick, tying the game, 17-17. 

The Bears then looked for the opportunity to score before the quarter was over. At 3:28, a 47-yard pass was made by Shelley and caught by wide receiver, Ty Scott who delivered a touchdown, upping the score, 24-17.

Within the final quarter, the Bears did everything they could to continue to keep the momentum until the clock ran down.

Minutes into the quarter, a 31-yard field goal was made by Pizano, driving the score up once more, 27-17. 

Moments after, the Razorbacks made up some ground themselves by making a 73-yard touchdown and advancing the score 27-24.

Tension began to pick up between the two teams. At 9:17 left, Arkansas decided the fate of the rest of the game with an 80-yard touchdown. 31-27, Arkansas taking the lead. 

In the final 60 seconds, the Razorbacks made another touchdown sealing the final score of 38-27. 

Though the bears lost  to the University of Arkansas, Petrino was pleased with how the team made an “amazing effort and showed what they’re capable of.”

“It’s been really fun to watch the players' beliefs change and how much more they believe in themselves now and how much their expectations have changed,” Petrino said in a press conference. “The greatest part of it is to watch the players' expectations change and then grow and come together as a family.”

Despite the reminiscence of stepping in the Razorback football stadium, the only thoughts Petrino had throughout, as well as after the game, was satisfaction for his team.

“Only thing that I was thinking about is how proud I am of our players,” Petrino said. “They came in and did the best they possibly could do and competed as hard as they possibly could compete. I think they all can look in the mirror and really be proud of how hard they played and how hard they competed.” 

With Arkansas’ win, head coach Sam Pittman can’t put Missouri States’ efforts past them.

“I want to congratulate Missouri State,” Pittman said in a post-game interview. “Coach Petrino on a great game plan. He had his kids better prepared than I did and he did a wonderful job today.”

Missouri State is scheduled to play South Dakota State University at home on Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Follow Jade Morrow on Twitter, @JadeMorrow15

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