Santacaterina rallies SE Missouri St. past Murray St. 31-24

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Daniel Santacaterina threw a pair of touchdown passes to Zack Smith late in the game that made the difference as Southeast Missouri State rallied to beat Murray State 31-24 in a regular-season finale on Saturday.

Murray State says it has reassigned head football coach Mitch Stewart to another position in the athletic department and will begin "an efficient" national search for his replacement.

Stewart was 19-27 in five seasons with the Racers and 15-23 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Murray State finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the OVC after losing its season finale 31-24 to Southeast Missouri on Saturday.

The school said in a release Saturday night it would have no further comment until the search is concluded. Athletic director Kevin Saal thanked Stewart and his wife Rikki for their contributions over 10 years with the school and added, "Their sacrifice and effort have built a foundation from which we must grow and improve upon as a program."

The Redhawks (9-3, 7-1) trailed 24-17 at the start of the fourth quarter when Santacaterina capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown throw to Smith to tie it 24-all. They took over on downs after a failed Murray State drive and Santacaterina once again went to Smith, this time from 6 yards, for another score and a 31-24 lead with 8:57 to go.

Santacaterina finished with 215 yards and three touchdowns passing for the Redhawks. Zion Curtis carried 15 times for 86 yards and Kristian Wilkerson had 11 receptions for 95 yards and a score. Zach Hall had a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Preston Rice threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns for the Racers (4-8, 2-6).