CANTON, Mo. -- The Culver-Stockton College football team was a play away from getting the ball back for perhaps a final drive before halftime.
MidAmerica Nazarene quarterback Austin Blackston broke up those plans.
The Pioneers faced a third and 18 near midfield with less than four minutes remaining in the second quarter. Blackston, however, scrambled for 17 yards, and the Pioneers converted the first down on the following play. Four plays later, MidAmerica Nazarene running back Jamar Moya scored on a 1-yard run that pushed the lead to three touchdowns heading into halftime.
"That was pretty big for them," C-SC sophomore linebacker Dalton Huffman said. "We were still in the game at that point. We had a legit shot. That's the problem with our defense. We're good everywhere, but we have to be great everywhere."
C-SC never recovered as it suffered a 46-20 Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division loss Saturday afternoon at Ellison Poulton Stadium, ending a three-game winning streak.
Blackston frustrated the Wildcats (2-1, 0-1 Heart) by completing 18 of 24 passes for three touchdowns and 203 yards and rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
"We messed up a couple assignments," Huffman said. "We underestimated (Blackston's) scrambling ability. We thought he'd be more of a pocket passer and maybe run a little bit. He used his feet, and that really hurt us today."
To make matters worse, C-SC couldn't sustain drives. The Wildcats netted just 17 yards on its first two drives, but a 6-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 43-yard pass from Korbin Marcum to Denzel Campbell tied the game at 7-7 with 2:10 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Wildcats made just three first downs on the following four series, and Marcum threw an interception. Another series started at the MidAmerica Nazarene 49-yard line, but C-SC mustered just 27 yards before being turned away.
"You have to work really, really to get there," C-SC coach Tom Sallay said. "Then you've got to work really hard to score. You've got to make things work out."
The Pioneers (2-1, 1-0 Heart) pushed their lead to 30-7 in the third quarter before the Wildcats finally scored again on an 11-yard run by Jordan Grant with 3:28 remaining in the third quarter.
MidAmerica Nazarene outgained C-SC 515-319 and churned out 312 yards on the ground.
C-SC's offensive problems compounded when Marcum left in the fourth quarter after taking hits by two MidAmerica Nazarene defenders while sliding after a 4-yard run. Marcum didn't return and was wearing a sling on his left arm.
Redshirt freshman and Highland product Andrew Schultz took over, and he finished a 13-play, 98-yard drive by scrambling for a 13-yard touchdown that trimmed the deficit to 39-20 with 6:30 remaining in the game.
Marcum, who entered the game averaging 304 passing yards, finished with just 131 yards. His status for next week is unknown.
MidAmerica Nazarene 46, Culver-Stockton 20
22 First downs 24
41-312 Rushes-yards 46-188
203 Passing yards 131
515 Total yards 319
18-24-0 Comp-Att-Int 18-32-1
1-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0
12-120 Penalties-yards 10-77
MidAmerica Nazarene 7 21 8 10--46
Culver-Stockton 7 0 7 6--20
M--Austin Blackston 17 run (Pablo Pereira kick), 4:41
C--Denzell Campbell 43 pass from Korbin Marcum (Ben Workman kick), 2:10
M--Jamain Lang 24 pass from Blackston (Pereira kick), 13:55
M--Arnold Adams 18 pass from Blackston (Pereira kick), 12:48
M--Jamar Moya 1 run (Pereira kick), 1:16
C--Jordan Grant 11 run (Workman kick), 3:28
M--Adams 29 pass from Blackston (kick blocked), 0:52
M--Pereira 37 field goal, 11:34
C--Andrew Schultz 13 run (Workman kick), 6:30
M--Moya 41 run (Pereira kick), 5:40
RUSHING--MidAmerica Nazarene, Moya 20-184, Blackston 11-105, Kobe Hardin 6-29, Adams 2-0. Culver-Stockton, Grant 14-84, Nathan Barnes 12-50, Schultz 6-40, Reggies Foster 4-22, Chauncey Garrison 2-8, Connor Perrine 1-5, Mateen Johnson 1-4, Korbin Marcum 5-11, Denzell Campberll 1-0.
PASSING--MidAmerica Nazarene, Blackston 18-24-203-0. Culver-Stockton, Marcum 16-30-131-1, Schultz 2-2-0-0.
RECEIVING--MidAmerica Nazarene, Jackson Sherley 5-72, Adams 4-60, Lang 3-43, Dalton Inlow 3-24, Moya 2-(-7), Hardin 1-11. Culver-Stockton, Stephen Murphy 7-52, Barnes 3-6, Campbell 2-54, Perrine 2-12, Johnson 2-10, Grant 1-(-1), Foster 1-2.