NATCHITOCHES, LA (KPLC)- McNeese State's 18th ranked Cowboys scored early in the fourth period on a pass interception return by Joe Narcisse, curtailed a two point Northwestern State conversion and walked off with a 20-18 Southland Conference football victory here Saturday.
The win lifted the Cowboys overall record to 3-1 and left them undefeated at 2-0 and atop the league standings.
Cowboy head coach Matt Viator said that his team made the plays it needed on both offense and defense to win.
Narcisse's td pass interception return was one of those plays on defense and so were a pass interception by Janzen Jackson that set up McNeese's second score, a defensive stand in the second quarter that forced the Demons to go for a field goal from the McNeese one, a fumble recovery by Pat Williams at the McNeese 27 and knockdowns of passes in the last seconds of the game that cemented the victory.
Offensively one of the big plays was a score as the second period wound down to give McNeese the lead for good. Others were a pair of field goals by Josh Lewis, a 48 yard pass from Cody Stroud to Wes Briscoe that set up a score and a td pass reception from Stroud to Darius Carey.
The Cowboys didn't beat the Demons, now 1-1 in the SLC and 2-3 overall, in total offense. They had 295 to Northwestern's 315. Stroud hit on 19 of 32 passes for 217 yards and Andre Anderson led the team in rushing with 37 yards on 13 trips while Marcus Wiltz had 28 yards on 10 rushes.
Carey was the team's leading receiver with five catches for 52 yards while Briscoe had two receptions for 72 yards.