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Tigers rally for win at UNK

By The Hays Daily News

KEARNEY, Neb. -- The Fort Hays State University football team scored 20 unanswered points in the second half Saturday to rally for a 30-23 victory in the season finale against University of Nebraska-Kearney.

The Tigers trailed 23-10 at halftime, but Shaquille Cooper broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter to pull Fort Hays to within a touchdown.

Then, the Tigers forced a three-and-out and Kearney had an 11-yard punt. Tiger senior quarterback Anthony Sheppard, back in the starting role for the first time since Week 1, hit Cornelius Gallon for a 37-yard score to tie the game after a Drew O'Brien extra point.

It was Sheppard's second TD toss of the game after hitting Tanner Hageman on a 55-yarder to pull the Tigers to withing 20-10 in the second quarter.

With the game tied in the fourth, the Tigers put together a 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a Cooper 18-yard run to take the lead with 6:24 left.

Then, it was up to the Tiger defense, which got an interception from Keke Paul to seal the win in the final minute.

Sheppard completed 19 of 34 passes for 224 yards, while rushing for 78 yards on 19 carries. Cooper finished with 106 yards and two scores, while Hageman hauled in five catches for 116 yards.

The Tigers finished the season 5-6 and 4-6 in MIAA play, while UNK wrapped up its first season in the MIAA with a 2-8 conference mark, 3-8 overall.