By Olivia Gutierrez
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Lightning warnings delayed the game twice but the Cardinals came out on top 33-26 Saturday night against the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.
Once the game started after the first delay, the Cardinals delivered their own lightning within the first 10 minutes of the first quarter. The Cardinals recovered two of Eastern New Mexico’s fumbles, senior fullback Matt Bass scored the first touchdown of the game, and Jake Wilcox kicked a 25-yard field goal. Before the quarter ended, Eastern New Mexico scored a touchdown, leaving the score UIW 10-7
. UIW started the second quarter strong with Wilcox securing a field goal, and Junior Sessions scoring a touchdown after an 89-yard run. UIW scored again on a pass that went 90 yards from freshman quarterback Trent Brittain to wide receiver Clint Killough. It was the longest pass play in UIW’s history. Eastern New Mexico, however, blocked UIW’s kick for the extra point. The Greyhounds’ David Strickland made a PAT return to make the score 26-9. With two minutes remaining in the second quarter, the game was postponed due to lightning, and the 30-minute intermission evidently offset UIW’s momentum – especially on defense in the third quarter.
Eastern New Mexico took advantage of Incarnate Word’s mistakes by scoring a touchdown after getting an interception. In the fourth quarter, Incarnate Word’s defense continued making mistakes, and Eastern New Mexico’s Christian Long scored a touchdown, making it a three-point game quite reminiscent of last year’s UIW 34-24 loss in Arlington, Texas, at then-Cowboys Stadium to the Greyhounds.
However, Incarnate Word would not permit history to be repeated. The intensity picked up as UIW’s Troy Lara recovered a fumbled punt, setting Incarnate Word closer to the end zone. Junior Sessions ran a touchdown to make the game 33-23 as the crowd and the Cardinals exploded with excitement. Eastern New Mexico was able to move the ball down the field to score a field goal with two minutes left, making the score 33-26. After receiving the ball after UIW made an incomplete pass, the Greyhounds came closer to making a touchdown, but UIW’s defense was able to contain them.
“It was an ugly game, but it doesn’t matter because we won,” Head Coach Larry Kennan said. “We’re 3-2, and we’ve never been 3-2 in our history ever. So it’s a big deal to us. It’s a great win and we’ll address our mistakes (later).”
Bass, who scored the first touchdown, said, “I feel disappointed. We won, but we had a lot of misses on both sides of the ball. We’re a better team than that. We need to make some good corrections. But tonight, we celebrate with our 3-2 record.”