SHSU defeats McNeese State at homecoming, 45-10
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 22:10
After a slow start in the first half, the Sam Houston State University offense ran six unanswered scoring drives against the McNeese State University defense during Saturday’s 45-10 victory at Bowers Stadium.
Wide receiver Richard Sincere ran for two touchdowns from the wildcat formation, while running back Timothy Flanders and quarterback Brian Bell added to their career totals with a touchdown each.
“Every defense is going to have a game plan for us,” Flanders said. “They’re going to have to stop one of us…it’s pretty much pick your poison, just like last season.”
Early in the first quarter the SHSU offense had a costly turnover with an intercepted from Bell that set up a Cowboy touchdown. After working McNeese’s defense, Bell answered at the end of the first quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Chance Nelson. Bell would continue to attack in the air completing 16-25 passes for a total of 193 yards.
With his touchdown pass to Nelson, Bell threw his 40th passing touchdown to claim SHSU’s all-time passing touchdown record over previous leader Dustin Long.
Offensive troubles continued into the second quarter for the Bearkats with a fumble from Bell that led to a McNeese field goal to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead.
“It’s frustrating when you’re the one allowing them to be successful,” Coach Willie Fritz said. “We just didn’t do a good job with ball security.”
McNeese’s offense was not allowed to score the rest of the game as SHSU’s defense, led by Darnell and Darius Taylor, held the Cowboys to only 210 offensive yards.
“That’s just the goal of the defense every week is just to keep pressure on them and force them to make big plays and play with tremendous effort,” Bearkat defensive tackle J.T. Cleveland said.
SHSU’s offense began their attack in the second quarter.
Sincere ignited the Bearkat offense with a 44-yard run for a touchdown to put SHSU on top 14-10 seven minutes into the second quarter. McNeese couldn’t answer and was force to punt after four plays, when Flanders answered with a 12-yard rushing touchdown with two minutes left on the first half; giving the Bearkats a 21-10 lead going into halftime.
“I had a good week of practice,” Sincere said. “I was looking forward to having a big game this week.”
According to Fritz, SHSU continued their momentum into the second half to carry the game out of reach of McNeese State.
“I thought a big key to the game was the beginning of the second half,” Fritz said. “We take the kickoff and get a pretty good return, [and] march down the field and take about six minutes off the clock [and] scored a touchdown. [We] Kickoff to [McNeese], get a take-away [and] get three points out of it. Kickoff again and do a really good job defensively.”
Bell recorded his first touchdown of the game in the third quarter with a one yard rush.
SHSU’s kickoff team would continue the attack with a recovered fumble at the Cowboy 25-yard line that led to a Miguel Antonio field goal to extend the Bearkat lead 31-10 with 5:46 left in the third quarter.
McNeese’s offense only recorded one yard in the quarter.
With two consecutive sacks in the fourth quarter, Cleveland directed the SHSU defense to continue stopping McNeese’s offense into the fourth quarter.
“We want to be the aggressor. We want to attack them. When they’re not making plays there’s really nowhere [for them] to go,” Cleveland said.
Backup quarterback Chris Grett sealed the Bearkats’ victory with a 7-yard touchdown rush late in the fourth quarter. Altogether SHSU scored 38 unanswered points from the second quarter and through the second half.
“I thought we played a really, really good ball game tonight in all three phases,” Fritz said. “We had a couple of costly turnovers early in the ball game [with] an interception and fumble. From that point forward I thought our offense played really, really well.”
With the victory over the Cowboys, the Bearkats moved up in both major NCAA FCS polls, claiming the number five spot.