SHSU football team's first opponent wins first game against Texas College
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 00:09
SHSU’s first opponent, the University of Incarnate Word, let their first game of the season be decided in the final moments as they defeated Texas College 19-12 in San Antonio on Saturday. Incarnate Word will be Sam Houston’s first football opponent of the 2012 season.
UIW (1-0) earned the win under new head coach Larry Kennan. The Cardinals never trailed Texas College, but they also never led by more than seven points.
UIW’s last touchdown came from Georgia Tech-transfer Marcus Wright on a one-yard plunge into the end zone early in the fourth quarter, but their extra point attempt was blocked again and the Cardinals only led by seven (19-12). The Cardinals would hold this lead for the rest of the game.
The Cardinals fumbled the ball seven times and three of them were recovered by the Steers of Texas College. This is a good omen for the Bearkats, whose defense forced over thirty turnovers in the regular season in 2011.
“That was a different team that we have seen on film,” Kennan said in an interview with cardinalathletics.com. “They played really hard and really well. I think it took our guys by surprise.”
The Cardinals were able to strike first by scoring a touchdown in their first three offensive plays of the game. Senior quarterback Zach Rhodes completed a 48-yeard pass to wide receiver Devan Avery, who started on both offense and defense, and then running back Trent Rios scored the game’s first touchdown on a seven-yard run.
“I’ve played offense since high school,” Avery said to cardinalathletics.com. “This is my senior year so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win.” Avery had two catches on offense for 99 yards and recorded five tackles on defense.
The Steers took advantage of a fumble by the Cardinals early in the second quarter and would end up scoring a touchdown from the turnover. But Texas College kicker Houston Creighton’s extra point attempt would miss wide right.
In the second half, Rios would score his second touchdown of the night but Cardinal kicker Jake Wilcox’s kick was blocked by the Steers, making the score 13-6.
On their next two possessions, the Cardinals turned the ball over on fumbles and the Steers were able to cash in one of them for a touchdown. Luckily for the Cardinals, Creighton would miss his second extra point attempt sustaining the Cardinals’ lead at 13-12.
UIW is predicted to finish seventh in their conference in just their fourth year competing in football, while Sam Houston the favorite to finish number one in the Southland Conference. The Bearkats hope to solidify their ranking as they kick off their season against the Cardinals this Saturday at Elliot T. Bowers Stadium at 6 p.m.