Former St. Vincent star burns Southeast with TD return

Sunday, November 11, 2007
Missouri State redshirt freshman Waylon Richardet fielded the ball during Saturday's game. The St. Vincent graduate scored his first collegiate touchdown with a 75-yard kickoff return against Southeast Missouri State. (MIKE WILLIAMSON ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)

Waylon Richardet returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdownfor the Bears.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Waylon Richardet has not yet played nearly as much in college as he did in high school, when he helped lead St. Vincent to a state title.

But Richardet has been a solid contributor during his rookie campaign with the Missouri State football team.

And Saturday, in the Bears' season-ending 55-17 rout of Southeast Missouri State, the redshirt freshman scored his first collegiate touchdown.

Richardet, one of MSU's up-men on kickoff returns, fielded a short kickoff into the wind at his 25-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

After eluding some attempted tackles, the 6-foot-1, 255-pound Richardet cut toward the left sideline and outran the Redhawks on his way to a 75-yard TD.

"It was a great thrill," Richardet said as he flashed a wide smile. "I was just thinking get as much as I could get. I followed the holes, then I saw green and I was gone."

Richardet has been a backup on the defensive line for the Bears, while also being a key member of several special teams.

Richardet had a solid all-around game Saturday as he was credited with two tackles and his first collegiate sack.

For the season, Richardet had 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss. He also had a 26-yard kickoff return.

"I'm loving it here," Richardet said.

Richardet participated in MSU's first winning record since 2004 as the Bears finished 6-5. They went 2-9 last year.

"That's real nice," Richardet said. "This program is on the rise."

Richardet was a standout linebacker/running back at St. Vincent, which captured the 2004 Class 1 state championship.

In high school, Richardet was known for having good speed and athleticism for a player with such considerable size.

Saturday, Richardet showed that he hasn't lost that -- although he added with a laugh that he wasn't quite sure how fast he was running during his touchdown.

"I haven't seen the film," he said. "I don't know how fast I'll look."

Southeast also recruited Richardet and he said he seriously considered playing for the Redhawks before deciding on MSU.

"It was between those two," he said. "I just felt Missouri State was a little better fit for me."

Big wind advantage

A wind estimated at up to 30 miles per hour made for quite a field-position advantage for the team moving toward the south end of Plaster Field on Saturday.

In addition to most of the kickoffs in that direction either going into or through the end zone, both punters took advantage of the wind.

Southeast's Doug Spada drilled a career-long 73-yarder in that direction, while MSU's Nathan Stokes matched that with a 73-yarder of his own.

Spada, however, missed a chance to nail a pair of long field goals with the wind at his back. A 52-yarder was wide and a 44-yarder hit the upright.

Spada, who made good on a 28-yarder, is now just 2-for-7 in the past two games after he started the season 11-for-13.

But Spada averaged 50.2 yards on four punt attempts and placed three more inside the 20-yard line. He leads the Ohio Valley Conference with 26 punts inside the 20.

Statistically speaking

* True freshman wide receiver Miles Edwards led the Redhawks with seven catches for 85 yards. He is Southeast's top receiver on the season.

* For the third straight game, Southeast was held under 100 yards rushing. The Redhawks finished with 66 net yards on 29 attempts, a 2.3-yard average.

* Defensively, sophomore linebacker Jared Goodson led in tackles with 11, followed by senior linebacker Adam Casper and junior safety Victor Anderson with 10 apiece.

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