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Lopers open with road win

Football on field.

Following a series of scoreless drives, UNK still held a 10-7 lead as the Missouri Southern offense took the field in the fourth quarter of the week 1 matchup. With 9:55 remaining, Lopers safety Darius Swanson undercut a slant route and intercepted the pass.

Swanson returned it 18 yards to the endzone for a touchdown, giving the Lopers a 17-7 lead.

“You get in those types of games, especially MIAA games, one play can kind of swing momentum,” said UNK coach Josh Lynn. “I think that was the momentum play that really helped us get going and helped us to put them away. I think if you look at our overall team and the momentum that we had after that pick, it really carried us to the victory.”

The Lopers sealed the win five minutes later with redshirt freshman Zane Schawang rushing for a 32-yard touchdown, which was his first touchdown run at UNK.

The 24-7 win marked the 600th in program history. The pick six was the first since Lynn’s coaching opener in 2017.

The Lopers had 375 yards on offense, and 331 of them came on the ground. TJ Davis ran for 129 yards on 20 attempts. The UNK defense only gave up 187 yards on the night and shut out the Lions in the final three quarters after allowing an early touchdown.

“Obviously, they went out there prepared and were physical,” Lynn said. “One thing that we really did well too was tackle. Any time you can go and score a touchdown on defense and then hold a team to 187 yards that’s a plus.”

UNK football excited for home opener after week 1 victory

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KEVIN BURD, Sports Edior
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