Cowboys Hold Off UTSA On Senior NIght

LAKE CHARLES, (KPLC)- McNeese State ran its football record to even numbers here Saturday night with a 24-21 non-conference victory over UT San Antonio.

The Cowboys, now 5-5 overall, got touchdown runs of five yards from Champlain Babin and 21 yards from Andre Anderson, a 29 yard pass from Darius Carey to Josh Jordan and a 30 yard field goal from Josh Lewis.

UT San Antonio scored on a one yard run by Evans Okotcha and on passes of seven yards to David Morgan and 26 yards to Jake Wanamaker, both from Eric Soza.

The game was the first ever between the two teams as the Roadrunners are in their first year of organized football.  They have also dropped out of the Southland Conference so probably won't be back in Cowboy Stadium again.

The victory was the second in a row for McNeese which will conclude its season next Saturday on the road against Lamar in Beaumont, TXMcNeese ran for 251 yards, the second most in a game this season for the Cowboys and Anderson got more than half of them, netting 158 yards on 26 carries.  It was his highest total this season and the third highest of his career.

Carey, a wide receiver who lines up behind the center in the team's "Wildcat" formation, picked up 56 yards rushing while Ernest Celestie, another wide receiver, had 23 and tailback Marcus Wiltz rushed for 20.

Cowboy quarterback Cody Stroud completed nine of 22 passes for 95 yards and had one intercepted.  Carey had one toss from the "Wildcat", that the 29 yard touchdown strike to Jordan.

Carey also had 26 yards on three pass receptions and returned three punts for 28 yards.

Defensively for the Cowboys, Desmund Lighten, who was one of 10 seniors playing in their final game in Cowboy Stadium, led the team with seven tackles, one of them for a loss, and he also had two quarterback hurries.

UTSA, which is now 3-6 on the year, collected most of its yardage through the air, quarterback Soza completing 19 of 36 passes for 254 yards.  The team had 66 yards rushing.

McNeese produced the first three scores in the game and held a 17-0 lead 28 minutes into the game.  Lewis got his team on the scoreback with his 10 field goal of the season with only a second left in the first half and then Babin got the game's first td with 6:23 left in the second period.

Anderson went over from 21 yards with 2:32 left in the half and UTSA got on the board with 39 seconds left on Okotcha's one yard run.

The only score in the third quarter came on Morgan's seven yard catch of a Sosa pass.

Both teams scored in the final period, the Cowboys seeming to put the game away on  Carey's 29 yard td pass to Jordan with 4:35 left but UTSA came right back on Wanamaker's reception from Soza with 3:50 left.

Although they didn't score, McNeese used up most of the final 3:50 of the game with a lengthy drive.  UTSA got the ball with 13 seconds left following a Cowboy punt but three passes fell incomplete.