Murray State blows lead, recovers to win 24-21

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Preston Rice scored the go-ahead touchdown and Murray State rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Southeast Missouri State 24-21 on Sunday.

Rice’s 3-yard run returned the lead to the Racers (2-0, 2-0 Ohio Valley Conference) with eight minutes remaining after the Redhawks scored twice earlier in the quarter.

With Southeast Missouri trailing 17-7, the Redhawks’ Al Young caught a shanked punt a yard behind the line of scrimmage and returned it 10 yards to the Murray State 30. The short field led to a touchdown plunge by Zion Custis.

A minute later, Shabari Davis returned an interception 33 yards for the lead.

A celebration penalty following Davis’ score resulted in Murray State starting a drive at the Redhawks’ 49. The Racers converted a fourth-and-5 on a 12-yard slant to Dequan Dallas down to the 3. Rice carried it over on the next play.

The win ended a string of 12 straight regular-season home wins for 16th-ranked Southeast Missouri (1-2, 1-1).

Points came quickly early on. The Redhawks took the opening kickoff and went 81 yards, scoring on Custis’ 5-yard run. The Racers replied on their first drive, getting a 35-yard run by Damonta Witherspoon before scoring two plays later on Rice’s 26-yard pass to Rodney Castille. Murray State took the lead 2 1/2 minutes later on a 22-yard pick-6 by Marcis Floyd, his first of two interceptions. Aaron Baum added a 34-yard field goal for the Racers before the quarter ended for a 17-7 lead.

Witherspoon finished with 108 yards on 22 carries.

There were five interceptions, two by Rice and three by Southeast Missouri’s Andrew Bunch.

More AP college football: and