Pizano kicks winner as time expires, Missouri St. tops SIU

Celdon Manning scored four touchdowns and Jose Pizano, kicking into strong crosswind, booted a game-winning 33-yard field goa l as time expired and Missouri State upended No. 10-ranked Southern Illinois 30-27 on Saturday.

Manning was a workhorse for unranked Missouri State (4-4, 4-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference), catching six passes for 117 yards and a TD as well as rushing 12 times for 65 yards and three more scores.

Manning opened the game with a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first play from scrimmage but that was the lone bright spot for the Bears in the first half.

Southern Illinois (4-3, 3-3) tackled Missouri State’s Tobias Little in the end zone for a safety, then wrapped two touchdowns around a Little fumble before ending the half with a field goal and a 19-7 lead.

The teams traded touchdowns on three consecutive possessions late in the fourth quarter. Manning scored on a run from the 3 with 7:13 remaining as Missouri State edged into a 20-19 lead.

The Salukis answered with Stone Labanowitz firing a 7-yard touchdown to Avante Cox, needing just five plays to wrest the lead back, with Labanowitz catching a two-point conversion pass from Cox for a 27-20 lead.

Manning then scored on a 23-yard run, lifting Missouri State into a 27-27 tie with 2:42 remaining. The Salukis were forced to punt with 1:56 on the clock, and Missouri State squeezed out 50 yards in eight plays — Manning rushing for 7, 11 and 4 yards — leaving three seconds for Pizano to kick the game-winner.

Labanowitz passed for 270 yards with two touchdowns for SIU. The loss seriously dents Southern Illinois’ post-season hopes.

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