Cats claw out 40-34 win over Mizzou in dramatic fashion

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Austin MacGinnis kicked four field goals, including two in the fourth quarter, and Stephen Johnson and Benny Snell each had two touchdowns as Kentucky outlasted Missouri 40-34 in a back-and-forth marathon Saturday night.

Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) led by double digits three times but allowed Missouri to eventually tie the game at 27 late in the third quarter and 34 early in the fourth. MacGinnis’ 53-yard field goal with 9:40 remaining provided a three-point edge before Lonnie Johnson blocked Tucker McCann’s 45-yard field goal attempt with 6:15 left, setting up MacGinnis’ 20-yard kick with 1:48 left that gave the Wildcats a cushion in a game that lasted nearly four hours.

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Before that Johnson threw touchdown passes of 14 and 64 yards while Snell ran for scores of 71 and 6 yards. Those scores merely provided breathing room as Tigers quarterback Drew Lock threw TD passes of 50, 58 and 75 yards, the last of which tied the game. Lock’s 48-yard completion set up his 1-yard TD run.

Missouri (1-4, 0-3) outgained Kentucky 568-486 but lost its fourth in a row.

Kentucky reserve quarterback Luke Wright was taken away on a stretcher with a medical emergency in the fourth quarter, but there was no immediate word on what caused it.

THE TAKEAWAY

Missouri: Entering the game ranked ninth nationally with six plays over 50 yards, the Tigers used big plays to stay close and eventually tie. Lock connected with J’Mon Moore for a 50-yard touchdown, Emanuel Hall for a 58-yard score and Johnathon Johnson for 75 yards that tied the game. Lock finished 22 of 42 for 355 yards. Turnovers did in the Tigers, as two fumbles led to Kentucky touchdowns.

Kentucky: Eager to rebound from a subpar offensive effort against Eastern Michigan, the Wildcats scored on four straight first-half drives and built three double-digit leads. Good thing, since they also allowed the Tigers to claw back. Johnson’s 22-of-36 passing for 298 yards was huge, as was Snell’s 71-yard TD run. MacGinnis finished with 16 points to surpass Lones Seiber as the program’s career scoring leader.

UP NEXT

Missouri visits No. 5 Georgia next week.

Kentucky has a bye before traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 21. The Wildcats won last year’s meeting 40-38 on a last-second field goal that turned their season around.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com