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George Balekji MSSU Coach's Show

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George Balekji MSSU Coach's Show

>> you're watching the mmsu coach's show featuring kode george and missouri southern lions head coach denver johnson. >> welcome to the mmsu coach's show. a full slate as we recap yesterday's map up with northeastern and mike druziga will join me for an interview. denver johnson joining me in the studio. as always, coach, thanks for stopping by. yesterday in a match up, both crews were coming in 0-8 and they win in walkoff fashion in double over time. how tough of a pill was that to swallow? >> a tough loss and i hate it for our kids. i was proud of our young men and our staff. i thought they battled hard and i thought they gave great effort and execution wasn't always what you want it to be. i have a hard time finding much fault with their effort and bat bat -- battle and willingness and comradery to stay involved. it went back and forth and we had several chans to win the game and several chances to lose in regulation. it goes back and forth and get it in over time and we have to score touchdowns and have to tackle to come out with a victory. we did not do that so tip our hat to them. they made the plays that won the game. >> the defense played phenomenally well letting 23 points before over time. did you see them hanging their heads? they played a great game. >> i'm not sure everybody was hanging their head, but there was a lot of disuh point meant and us from -- disappointment and frustration. they played with effort and our defense was much maligned and we struggled. there is no question about it. there is no getting ready a it. getting around it. we put them in a bad spot and they did a good job of keeping northeastern out of the end zone and make them settle for kicks. we blocked a couple kicks. i thought they rallied up and did some of the better things of the season yesterday. offense got some traction and scored some points. we left points on the field. there were several opportunities there to get points on the board we didn't get done. in aggregate, we came up a little short. >> let's get to the game tape. the team is fired up out of the locker room. for brayden scott, a homecoming. he went to high school nearby. and you can find josh hadley for the 12-yard gain out to the left. >> he had a severe turf toe injury, very, very painful. he played through it. but i think it affected his ability to run and maybe his ability to throw. a good job with some balance. >> that is josh hadley there. even with the turf toe he lead all rushers. the freshman is continuing to flourish with seven yards and a first down. the first scoring drive of the game. >> another one of the true freshmen that are coming on. they have some speed for us. we are glad to see him get that touchdown and get on the board first. that's what we are hoping to do. >> lions have the 7-0 lead and northeast trying to establish a run. >> trying to get people there. we were very concerned about the receiving core. we were trying to keep the safety deep and make sure we didn't give up deep balls. we knew we would be a little late on selling runs. we did a good job. >> they hit the deep run and it was second and long. they made it third and longer there. the sophomore coming up with the sack of the we will jump to the second quarter. third down and henderson breaks up the shot to the end zone there. >> really nice defensive play right there. a good hand up and get on the ball. here we go blocking the field goal. on the offensive possession they forced the punt and they would be back to work for northeastern and they find gary mcknight and it follows the three line. >> the receiver, it was a really good receiver. we were very aware of him. we want to make sure we had somebody on top of him all the time. >> and that sets up abdul with an 18-yard rushing score. the game is tied at seven. >> a little disappointed there. i thought we gave one up the middle. >> you got back outlooking to respond. it is intercepted and returned 54 yards and finally pushed out of bounds. >> it up officers cost. we talk about it all the time. here is one of the opportunities where you can hold the kicks. >> josh hadley opens it up the 27-yard rush. >> i thought our offensive line did a good job. we started running the ball and trying to cram that up there going vertical north and south. hadley got through there and dalton james got through there. >> he will go to the same side. another big run here. face mask there and no flag. a penalty was called on that play. >> you saw him getting up gingerly on the toe. he has the right foot turned out. this was costly right here. we cough up the ball and give it back. >> offense gets back with the ball and this first play running to the right side. and then there would be for braye den scott going through the air he finds the quick strike. >> quick strike and gets the ball down and moves it down the field. get it off the goal line. >> brayden scott again and this one to james and the freshman from oklahoma. his first time playing offense and gets involved right away. >> dalton came in and played linebacker. we started the year at linebacker and moved him back over. winds up making a major contribution. >> 13 yard rush to the air and completes it for 13 yards as well. a few plays later on the coverage. it gets challenged deep and comes up with a big play. >> nice job getting up and making him play the ball. we saw that and i think it is a pretty good receiving core. we had a few miss cues in there. we had a few bad things happen to us. overall i thought we covered pretty well. >> they come down and they score . on the ensuing pat you black and it is taken all the way to the end zone and it is 16-6 at half time. >> rock had a good game. the sack and the black two and scoop one up and run it back for the two-point conversion. he had a big day for us. >> that wraps it up for the first half. things we >>> heading into the locker room tied at 16 after the blocked extra p oi nt tieing things up. what was the strategy in the second half, coach? >> we talk about the win. i don't think that's as much of an obstacle with offense and defense. we decided to take it in the third quarter and try to build the lead. we felt we should be up seven if not 14 at half time. we were tied so we really felt like the third quarter was a poif toll quarter. we wanted to take the ball and take the win in the third quarter. >> let's get to it. in the second half, the defense would be faced with a fourth and two right away. >> i thought our defense would fly around and pursuing well. we are not playing perfectly, but we are straining real hard and running to the ball. >> dalton james running hard. the pressure from oklahoma carrying on. >> i thought it got behind his pads and ran tough and cal lenny -- and challenged tacklers. >> backing up his running back and running behind his pads and the keeper gets a first down. 11 yards and another first down. >> a little bit of speed and first down out of bounds. >> upcoming is my favorite. he makes the middle linebacker hit right there. >> that had a pretty good crack to it. it was loud. everybody in the stadium heard that hit. >> that pass was just broken up. >> probably needed to lay that out alt more and let him use his speed and get under it. an uncharacteristic drop out of dante. dante has been our most sure handed receiver. had a um could of drops which is uncharacteristic of him. >> turnover on downs had brayden's back. >> a good job coming up and making a good catch. that ball was scooped off the turf. >> their defense gets the stop of their own. field goal goes wide right. >> we missed a couple of field goals and we wound up hitting some in the over time period. we left too many points on the field during the course of the ballgame. >> it was a 30-yard completion. he found a way to get the ball in his hands. and you give them the jet sweep. >> dante needed to touch the ball. we had a couple of drops. we just needed to get the ball in his hands. >> that's the second of 15 deep shots and stretches out, but can't come up with it. dante gets his hands on this one as brayden is e -- breaks this up. >> you get the ball caught and you would like to have that touchdown. >> once again wide right. points on the board and we go to the fourth quarter. right man, right spot. >> the defense does a great job. they are getting turnovers and putting the offense back on the field. we have to do a better job of taking advantage and capitalizing on the turnovers. >> the game is still tied at 16. breaks back on that one and back to back seven-yard runs. >> the offense is getting targeted well and they are running to us. >> three guys will bring him down here. >> this is josiah's niche. it is more in the middle and we have to let him be big and physical. >> it makes a tough lead and with a minute and 40 left, that ties things up. >> it drives you nuts. we keep the safety deep over the top of that. the safety is flat footed. >> so tied at 23 under and a minute to go. offense had the game in their hands. it starts at brayden and goes to dalton. and then a 10 yard out. brayden finds dante and gets him out of bounds. >> there we go. we are moving the ball and trying to work the sideline. we have clock issues and we throw one here and it is intercepted. >> this is the end of regulation. >> th ends the ballgame in regulation right here. it is a chance to try a long field goal or throw one to the end zone. >> you chose to put your defense out first, why make that choice? >> you want to know what you need to do to win. if they score you need to score. if you hold them all you have to do is kick a field goal. you want to know what you have to do when you get on the field offensively. >> alexander wade and keith beverly. he brings it down and gains 10 yards. chris williams gets in on the quarterback. the next play and chris williams getting to the quarterback. he forces an errorred throw. >> the first went on forever. i thought we should get an intentional grounding. i thought we should have got an another intentional grounding penalty on them which would have pushed them back maybe out of field goal range. >> it was on your 19 because of penalties. then another completion and brought down on the two and great passing. >> kept them out of the end zone. they go for the field goal and convert the field goal. now we know what we have to do. we can win it with a touchdown or tie it with a field goal. >> the 12-yard rush to start. you couldn't find the connection. >> a good start right there and maybe should have handed it off or run the ball again. we had a drop and as you said we seth settled for a field goal. >> on third down brayden forced out of the pocket. he comes out and from 33 yards out we are headed to the second over time. >> it made me nervous. we just missed two filed goals. luckily he was able to get that through and looked good doing it. >> then your offense goes back on the field. he is struggling to find his receivers and he is off the mark. third and 10 looking for dante down by the 5, but the pass falls in complete. >> yes, again, gets the field goal and puts the onus on them to come out. a touchdown will win it or field goal will tie. it is just reverse. >> he hits it and it is the second play for northeastern. >> we had lots of opportunities there to get that thing tackled. i thought it would hold them to another kick and maybe go to a third over time. that's probably their best football player so you want the ball in the hands of the best player and we missed several opportunities to get him tackled. >> we'll look at the final snap. brayden scott 192 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions. on, 81 yards on the ground. colin james stepping in. hadley with 38. we go to the receiving core and two receptions. he matched his career high. bennett had his third receiving touchdown of the game: we hear from the players after the game. >> this game was close because the defense helped us out. the defense played heck of a game. i give all of the credit to the defense. they kept us in the game. we were doing three and out and we weren't protecting the ball. >> it is tough. we wanted to come out and look for a first win. they were looking for their tirs win too. that will be improving. >> taking the ownership. he said a lot of i's. he felt he let the defense down. listen to the maturity. >> he is a competitor and he will own it. none of us are perfect. none of us. i appreciate his maturity toward that and the way he supports his teammates and the way he feels responsible to his teammates. >> after the break, we will hear he will sit >>> now joining me in the studio is lions center mike druziga. i thought you were a junior, but you are a red shirt sophomore. you have been in midmissouri these past few seasons. you went to high school outside chicago. what brought to you joplin? >> i was getting recruited. originally i was recruited as a right center. i got to witness how it was and how he has changinged the program. it has been a huff road and we are doing the work and we all want to improve. >> what's it been like? you said you were recruited as a triple option center and coach johnson comes in and changes up the offense. what has it been like? >> i mean, the change has been crazy. i am almost pushing 2 -- 290 and i came in at 250. coach johnson is a smart coach. coach dave johnson is the offensive coordinator and we are lucky to have him. playing four years in your hometown, what was it like having all of that time on the varsity field,s did that prepare you? >> i played both ways. i played the dn and played center. when i came here it was good. the competition is really good. definitely prepared me for them. >> what was it like for you? you are front and center for every offensive possession. you have dalton james and brayden at quarterback. each individual has temperatured up so well on the offense. >> everyone stepped up great. you got josh hadley running the ball and dalton james, glad he stepped up for you yesterday. it sucks relost shamar, but we will get better next year and he will only be another weapon for us. >> what is it like the patience you have to have after a season you had. you get out and the youth and talent you have to take the next step. >> i mean, our coach said we have about 30 something starters on our team, 30 something travel guys. we have a really young team. we have to look forward to the off season getting bigger and stronger and faster. that's only going to help us in the future. >> so talking about it before the show, being from chicago you came here and your parents didn't speak that much english. you taught them english. what was that like? >> growing up i didn't know how to say anything going into kindergarten besides my name. i was in english as a second language program. that's the way it goes. >> do you feel you get coached up on the football field is like coaching your parents? certain english terms? >> of course. it gives me the confidence. you do it this way and that's the way it will be. >> do they make their way down to joplin for your home games for the most part? >> actually last week was the first home game they have been to. my parents work hard every week, so it is hard to make the nine-hour trip. i'm glad they got to come down last week. i wish we would have won, but what can we do? >> how special is it to have them there to watch you play? >> it is awesome. you get a little nervous at first, but it was awesome they finally got to come down and watch us play. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> red shirt sophomore, not a junior, we'll be >>> welcome back to the mmsu coach's show. let's look at scores from around the league. they end their two-game losing streak with a 34-24 win over missouri western. northwest missouri took a 38-game winning streak to carney smith. it ended there. they are the upset number one team in the nation. tom lepage work stating the -- orchestrating the victory. there is now one lone undefeated team in miaa and the tigers take on the bear cats next week which will likely decide the regular season champ. southern's next opponent escape with a win at home 35-31 over unk. coach, you shift your attention and it is the final home game for the lions and with that comes senior day. is that a distraction at all? their last home collegiate game. >> there is always emotion in that. we don't have a great number of seniors, but we have some. we want to honor them in the right way. ii think the best way is to fight like heck and get a win. we will turn our attention to pitt state. we have to congratulate pitt state on that big win against northwest. that's huge. >> especially with a back up quarterback. everyone counted out pitt state in that game. for you guys as you look on these last two games, lindenwood and pitt state, how bad is a win wanted, but how much can you get? >> you couldn't want one any worse than we do. we understand it is two good football teams. i think we are improving, but i don't know what our capacity is. i don't think there is any quit for this football team. i think our kids will get ready and play with the same effort we did yesterday and better execution. anything can happen in this league. >> we talked about the young talent you have. the time they have had, it is invaluable the time they had on the field. how much do you look forward to getting these guys maturing letting them hit the weight room and continue to learn the game and the potential talent? >> we need a tremendous off season. we need a great winter time in the weight room and a really productive spring football practice. we need to recruit well. we need to supplement. we had alt -- a little attrition so we will add a a junior college guy or two to replace guys that are lost. when we get through the season we will hopefully win one or both of these last games and get into the winter time and have a lot of work to do. we believe we are right around the corner from getting this thing turned. we are young right now as we will ever be. from this point we will grow and mature. >> thank you for joining me. this ends this edition of the mmsu coach's show. have a good night, see you next week. >> this has been the mmsu coach's

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