The Cardinals evened their season record at 4-4 Saturday, Oct. 26, with a 24-3 homecoming victory against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.

By the middle of the first quarter, kicker Jake Wilcox started the Cardinals’ lead with a 38-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Cardinals quickly regained possession of the ball from the Huskies, and wide receiver Clint Killough scored a touchdown off a 31-yard pass from quarterback Trent Brittain, making the score 10-0 Cardinals.

UIW’s solid defense contained Houston Baptist’s attempts to score and once the Cardinals regained possession of the ball after receiving a punt, UIW’s offense blazed through Houston Baptist’s defense as running back John Oglesby scored a touchdown off a four-yard run. Confident with a 17-0 lead, the Cardinals’ intensity heightened as they contained Houston Baptist from scoring the entire half.

In the third quarter, Houston Baptist returned with more energy, which was combatted by UIW’s defense; however, Houston Baptist scored a 19-yard field goal after making several incomplete passes in previous plays. Throughout the remainder of the third quarter, UIW received penalties for being offside, unsportsmanlike conduct, holding, and false start, which detracted from their speed of play, but once the fourth quarter began, the Cardinals adjusted their speed of play.

After UIW’s Troy Lara, a defensive back, recovered a fumble, UIW’s offense pushed closer to the endzone and senior fullback Matt Bass rushed one yard for a touchdown, making the score 24-3.

As Houston Baptist attacked UIW, they received several personal fouls, and UIW’s Brandon Terry, a defensive lineman, was ejected from the game. With less than six minutes remaining, safety Devin Haywood intercepted Houston Baptist’s pass and returned it six yards to the UIW 17. The Cardinals, unable to complete a first down, punted to the Huskies, who attacked UIW and received penalties for an illegal formation and a false start, which restrained their progress. UIW’s defense was on top of Houston Baptist, which made several incomplete passes before the end of the game.

Head Coach Larry Kennan said he was pleased with another win on UIW’s record.

“With a 4-4 record, I’m proud of our guys,” Kennan said. “Mistakes on special teams is part of the game. Houston Baptist is a new team, so it was hard for the guys to get cranked up, especially when you play with backup guys, but the three personal foul penalties on us is not something we like to do. It’s selfish, and we’re a team that wants to play with class and dignity. We’re going to do it the right way.”

From a defensive perspective, linebacker Nick Ginn said, “We weren’t weary from traveling but felt fresh at home and more rested. We adjusted great on defense, got physical, and did our job.”

Senior linebacker Juan Ascencio and senior tight end Trey Anderson said they are anticipating the remainder of the season, which include a Nov. 2 away game in Abilene with McMurry University and two home games – a Nov. 9 return match with Abilene Christian University and Nov. 16 with Angelo State University.

“We need to be more focused, keep on top, and don’t let loose,” Asencio said. “We need to improve for next week’s game. We need payback.”

“After all these years, it’s good to see a change,” Anderson added. “To finish off this year, it’d be nice to end with a winning record for all us seniors, and that’s what we’ve been working hard for.”

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