After falling behind for the first time in the game with only 1:23 to play, Missouri S&T came right back and pulled out a 39-37 win in the waning seconds Oct. 24 over the NAIA's fourth-ranked team, Saint Francis (Ind.), on Homecoming at Allgood-Bailey Stadium.
Joe Drahos' fourth field goal of the game, a 28-yard kick with 7.7 seconds left on the clock, won the game for the Miners just over a minute after the Cougars had seized the lead on a short field goal.
In a game that featured 1,124 yards of total offense between the two teams -- including a whopping 656 in the second half alone -- the Miners struck first on a 28-yard field goal by Drahos at the 3:35 mark of the opening period.
After the Cougars turned the ball over on downs at the S&T 26, the Miners swiftly moved 74 yards in four plays to get their first touchdown of the afternoon. Jason Schlueter completed a pass for 33 yards to Dexter Bryant to get the Miners into Cougar territory, then hit Kevin Dillon two plays later for a 35-yard touchdown pass to put S&T up 10-0.
Saint Francis answered back with a 65-yard scoring drive that ended in a one-yard touchdown run by Daniel Carter, but S&T marched back down the field and increased its lead to 16-7 when Schlueter threw another touchdown pass to Dillon, this one covering 38 yards as the Miner receiver reached over the goal line as he was being brought down.
An interception by S&T defensive end Loren Severs with just over five minutes left in the half led to a 31-yard field goal by Drahos right before the end of the half, giving the Miners a 19-7 lead at the break.
Saint Francis flew out of the gate at the start of the second half, getting a 16-yard run from Carter on the first play and back-to-back runs of 21 and 30 yards from quarterback Shaine Tierney, the latter concluding in the end zone to trim the S&T lead to five.
Drahos kicked a 22-yard field goal on the Miners' next trip down the field, but the Cougars drew to within two with a 65-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard scoring run by Tierney.
The Cougars went for two, but Mark Hopkins picked off Tierney's pass at the goal line.
S&T's defense, however, forced Carter to fumble near midfield on the Cougars' next possession and the Miner offense made them pay for the mistake with a touchdown drive.
Schluter hit Dexter Carter for 14 yards on a third-and-11, then later in the drive, threw a 22-yard completion to Bryan Crider to set up a 10-yard scoring run by Bobby Pettis.
The Cougars got to within two again on a 27-yard scoring pass from Tierney to Armando Bustamante with 10:28 to go, but attempted an onsides kick that they touched before it went 10 yards.
Given a short field to work with, the Miners covered the 38 yards in just four plays and got into the end zone again when David Kavish was able to get a foot down to make a 16-yard touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone.
Saint Francis came right back and cut the lead to two once again with a quick five-play drive, culminating in a 17-yard scoring toss from Tierney to Koby Frye.
S&T had to punt the ball away to the Cougars with 5:01 to go and USF got runs of 13 and 11 yards from Carter to get inside the Miners' 10-yard line.
The Miner defense kept the Cougars out of the end zone, but Rhys Barnhart drilled a 20-yard field goal with just 1:23 on the clock to put USF up for the first time in the game at 37-36.
Starting at their own 37 after the kickoff, Schlueter opened the drive with an 18-yard completion to Crider to get the ball into Cougar territory.
Two plays later, Crider caught another pass and broke several tackles until he reached the USF 17-yard line.
Following a holding penalty that set S&T back 10 yards, Schluter connected with Bryant at the Cougar 11-yard line and the Miners used their final timeout with 12 seconds to go. S&T elected to go for the win at that point and after a USF timeout in an effort to ice him, Drahos split the uprights with his 28-yard try for the victory.
Schlueter completed 35-of-47 passes for a career-high 438 yards, jumping to third place on the S&T career passing yardage list in the process with a total of 3,859.
Crider caught 12 passes -- moving into the top 10 for career receptions -- for a personal-best 134 yards. Bryant and Kavish had five catches apiece for S&T.
Pettis led the Miners' ground game, which accumulated 149 yards overall, with 75 on 12 carries.
S&T finished with 587 yards of total offense against a team that entered the game allowing only 194 yards per game and had outscored its opponents by a margin of 238-52.
The Cougars, who racked up 537 yards of their own in the contest, got 311 yards through the air from Tierney and 103 on the ground from Carter.
Saint Francis (6-1) was the highest-ranked team a Missouri S&T team has defeated since 1991, when the Miners knocked off Emporia State when the Hornets were ranked fourth in the NAIA poll.
The Cougars were the fifth ranked team the Miners have faced in the first eight weeks of the season.