CONWAY, Ark. (AP) Jason Shelley accounted for just two touchdowns to lead Missouri State to a 27-14 victory over Central Arkansas on Thursday night.
Coach Bobby Petrino entered 12-4 in career season openers, collected his first in three tries with Missouri State, ranked eighth in the FCS coaches poll.
Shelley, last seasons Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the entire year who set programs single-season records for yards passing (3,347) and total offense (3,789) in his debut, was 18-of-30 passing for 266 yards with a touchdown against Central Arkansas. He added another 51 yards rushing on 13 carries and a score.
Shelley had a 5-yard touchdown run with 1: 05 remaining before halftime. Tahj Chambers intercepted a Will McElvain spread the ensuing possession, establishing Shelleys 10-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Wood because the first half ended with Missouri State up 17-0.
McElvain had a 12-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter that pulled Central Arkansas to 20-7, but Montrae Braswell returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards in to the end zone. McElvain added a 7-yard touchdown pass to Myles Butler that capped the scoring with 9: 35 remaining.
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