The East Central University football team mounted a come-back in the second half, but ended up falling to Southern Arkansas, 26-35, in road Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (6-4, 6-4 GAC) were led by junior David Moore, who earned 201 yard receiving and a touchdown to tie the single season receiving TD record at ECU. Senior Rocky Moore went 24-of-54, with three interceptions for the game.
Defensively the Tigers were led by senior Jameel Whitney, with 11 (7-4) total tackles, including a TFL. Senior Spencer Bond added nine (7-2) tackles and senior Karmah Yates tallied two sacks for 28 yards.
The Muleriders (6-4, 6-4) were the first to get on the scoreboard, scoring a touchdown with 4:02 left in the first, however they missed the extra points to lead 0-6.
SAU came right back and scored just nine seconds later on a fumble recovery and a 20-yard touchdown to lead 0-13.
The Tigers responded with 1:16 left in the first quarter. Senior Jamal Hall capped off a four-play, 31-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown to cut the deficit to 7-13.
The Muleriders then took over in the second quarter and took a 7-25 lead with two touchdowns halfway through the quarter.
That is when the Tigers started their come-back, which started with a safety by senior Karmah Yates at 5:24. ECU went into the locker room with a 9-25 disadvantage.
When the Tigers came out in the second half they were ready to fight. Junior Trevor Hunt started things off with a 27-yard field goal, with 41 seconds left in the third, to cut the deficit to 12-25.
On the next drive it looked like SAU would push ahead again, but senior Jamaal Whitney intercepted a pass in the end zone.
ECU scored on the next drive when David Moore and Rocky Moore connecting for the 12th time in the season, with a 13-yard TD pass with 11:36 left on the clock (19-25).
The momentum was in favor of the Tigers and they held the Muleriders on their next possession, however another interception and a 50-yard return for a touchdown pushed the lead to 19-32, with nine minutes left.
ECU did not waste anytime answering, as freshman Trinity Benson returned the kickoff 33 yards to put the Tigers on the 47 yard line. A few plays later David Moore caught a 41-yard pass to move ECU up to the three yard line. That set up Hall for a second rushing TD for the game and a 26-32 score with 8:22 left on the clock.
The Muleriders extended the lead to two possessions again, with a 27-yard field goal, with 4:07 left in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers offense went to work and over the next two minutes and got to the end zone, but the ball was fumbled and went out of the back of the end zone for a touchback and SAU ball to secure the 26-35 win for the Muleriders.