Despite playing on a field made somewhat treacherous by the recent rainfall, Missouri S&T was able to navigate through the mud Oct. 31 to close its home schedule with a 35-14 win over Lincoln University.
The Miners, who won for the third straight week, jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first half and never looked back as they kept the visiting Blue Tigers winless on the year.
The wet field conditions led to a game that saw the two teams commit a total of 12 fumbles.
It was the first of those fumbles that led to the initial score of the game, as S&T defensive end Joe Ridpath got a hit on LU quarterback Josh Goffigan to force a bad pitch, leading to a recovery by S&T's Loren Severs at the Lincoln 21-yard line.
S&T drove as far as the Lincoln 5-yard line before settling for a 23-yard field goal by Joe Drahos.
The Miners extended their lead early in the second quarter after a 23-yard return of a punt by Kirk Stilwell set the Miners up at their own 41.
On the next play, Bobby Pettis went around the left side and broke free for a 59-yard scoring run to put the Miners up 10-0.
S&T drove deep into Lincoln territory on its next possession as well, but failed to score after going for it on fourth-and-goal at the LU 2-yard line when a pass from Jason Schlueter went incomplete.
But two plays into the Lincoln possession, Ridpath got free and sacked Goffigan in the end zone for a safety to extend S&T's advantage to 12.
The Miners followed the safety with a 54-yard scoring drive, ending with Schlueter going into the end zone on a quarterback sneak with 4:06 left in the half.
Lincoln got its first score of the day just under two minutes later, taking advantage of a 64-yard kickoff return by O'Hara Fluellen to move deep into S&T territory.
Goffigan got the Blue Tigers on the scoreboard by taking an option play 13 yards for a touchdown.
S&T responded by moving right back down the field to the Lincoln 1-yard line, but with time about to expire in the first half, settled for a 19-yard field goal from Drahos to take a 22-8 lead to the locker room.
Another long kickoff return by Fluellen got Lincoln into Miner territory to start the second half and the Blue Tigers got to within a touchdown on a one-yard scoring run by Andre Young.
However, S&T needed only one play to get its lead back to 14, as Kevin Dillon hauled in a pass from Schleuter, then got free from one tackler and took a second would-be tackler over the goal line just 22 seconds after the Young touchdown.
The Miners wrapped up the scoring early in the fourth period on Schlueter's second touchdown pass of the afternoon as he connected with Dexter Bryant on a 7-yard scoring toss at the 13:08 mark.
S&T finished the game with 386 yards of total offense while holding the Blue Tigers to just 157.
The Miners posted 161 yards on the ground, including a season-high 91 from junior running back Jerome Miller.
Schlueter, who has been named as the Great Lakes Football Conference's Player of the Week in each of the last two weeks, completed 20-of-31 passes Saturday for 225 yards and the two scores.
Dillon had a game-high seven receptions for 90 yards while Bryan Crider caught six passes for 75 yards.
Defensively, Steve Edwards -- one of 18 seniors playing their final home game -- had an outstanding game with 12 tackles, a sack and a pass interception.
Ridpath had 10 tackles and a forced fumble to go along with the safety he recorded in the second quarter.
Melvin Banks and Justin Philpy also had seven tackles apiece for S&T, who will head to the road next Saturday to face Southwest Baptist in Bolivar.
The Bearcats (5-5) upended Saint Joseph's 28-16 Oct. 31.