S. Illinois 30, SE Missouri 27
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) _ Quarterback Reggie Kennedy scored on a 1-yard run to give Southern Illinois a 30-27 win over Southeast Missouri in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
Kennedy’s touchdown capped an 11-play, 89-yard drive by the Salukis (1-0) in the fourth quarter.
Dione Tyler answered with a 15-yard scoring run for Southeast Missouri (0-1) with 1:45 remaining, but the Indians failed to tie it with an onsides kick.
Southeast Missouri has not beaten Southern Illinois at home since 1955 when the Indians began an undefeated and untied season with a 7-0 win.
Neither team gained a comfortable lead Thursday.
Southern Illinois led 9-7 at the half.
A 6-yard scoring run by Tyler and a an 80-yard fumble return by Greg Klund gave Southeast Missouri a 20-16 lead in the fourth.
But Karlton Carpenter returned the kickoff 96 yards to put Southern Illinois up 23-20.
Kennedy, a redshirt freshman, completed 10 of 25 passes with one reception for 115 yards.
Tyler had 16 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns.