SAN ANTONIO – The University of the Incarnate Word football team fell in overtime, 44-41, to Northwestern State Saturday night. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the No. 20 Cardinals and is the first time the team had dropped a home contest since November 16, 2016.
UIW held a one-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 15 in the second half after Demons quarterback Shelton Eppler threw a pick-six to Jerick Pitre that put the Cardinals up 31-16. The Demons then scored the next two touchdowns on short yardage runs, but Jon Copeland extended the lead back to eight, connecting with Brady Rogers in the end zone for an eight yard touchdown that made the score 38-30. It was Copeland's second touchdown of the evening and with the score, Copeland set a program record for career touchdown passes (39).
"It will be something we reflect on years down the road and hopefully he'll continue to throw a lot more of them around here," said UIW Head Coach Eric Morris after the game. "You know, I thought he battled today."
Northwestern State scored with 19 seconds remaining and successfully executed the two-point conversion to tie the score at 38 at the end of regulation. In overtime, UIW received the ball first and took a three-point lead when Carson Mohr drilled a 26-yard field goal. However, Eppler was able to connect with a wide-open Quan Shorts for the game-winner.
Morris said after the game he felt each phase of the team made mistakes and no particular unit was to blame, "I just told them in the locker room, ‘No finger pointing at all' because all three sides of the ball made key mistakes in this game. That's something that us as coaches need to do a better job of getting these kids mentally prepared. We won in almost every statistical category besides one, and that's the one that counts: the final score."
The Cardinals wrap up their three-game home stand Saturday, Nov 2 against Nicholls State. Junior running back, Kevin Brown, who rushed for 116 yards in the loss, spoke about what he and his teammates need to do in the week ahead to prepare for the Colonels.
"Be more focused, communicate and just be dogs."
Kickoff against Nicholls State is slated for 4 p.m. at Benson Stadium.