CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — Jason Shelley accounted for 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 season's Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the 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 pass on the ensuing possession, setting up Shelley's 10-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Wood as 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 into 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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