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Northwestern StateDemonsNWST
1-0, 1-0 Away
23
Final
1234T
NWST0107623
MOST0710017
17
Missouri StateBearsMOST
0-1, 0-1 Home

Northwestern State beats Missouri State 23-17

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Zach Adkins' 51-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter snapped a tie to lift Northwestern State to a 23-17 victory over Missouri State Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Adkins was 24-for-37 for 233 yards and rushed for a touchdown late in the third quarter to tie the score at 17. Shakeir Ryan's game-winning TD catch from Adkins was one of his six receptions in the contest.

Demons' coach Jay Thomas made a good first impression in his debut, leading the Southland Conference school to its first road-win since 2011.

The Bears' Kierra Harris rushed for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give the Missouri Valley Conference representative the lead. Austin Witmer's 42-yard field goal stretched the Bears' advantage to 17-10, but it would be their last score.

This is the first time the Demons and Bears have played each other in 24 years.

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2015 Southland Conference Standings

TEAMCONFOVR
McNeese State9-010-1
Sam Houston State7-211-4
Central Arkansas7-27-4
Incarnate Word5-46-5
Lamar4-55-6
Northwestern State4-54-7
Stephen F Austin4-54-7
Southeastern Louisiana3-5-14-6-1
Abilene Christian3-63-8
Nicholls State2-6-12-8-1
Houston Baptist0-82-9

2015 Missouri Valley Football Conference Standings

TEAMCONFOVR
North Dakota State7-113-2
Illinois State7-110-2
Northern Iowa5-39-4
South Dakota State5-38-4
Western Illinois5-37-6
Indiana State3-55-6
South Dakota3-55-6
Youngstown State3-55-6
Southern Illinois2-63-8
Missouri State0-81-10