LAKE CHARLES — With the COVID-19 pandemic and two hurricanes wiping out the fall season, the McNeese football team played their first game Saturday in Cowboy Stadium since Nov. 2, 2019.
Unfortunately for the more than 2,000 Cowboy fans in attendance, the game didn’t result in a victory as No. 19 McNeese fell to visiting Incarnate Word 48-20.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After being forced to punt on their first possession, UIW would score on its next five possessions.
The Cardinals starting quarterback Cameron Ward threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Ducros.
The Cowboys answered that drive with a 12-play, 64-yard drive but were forced to settle for a 25-yard Jacob Abel field goal. That made it 7-3 and that would be the closest McNeese got in the first half.
UIW’s Ce’Cori Tolds returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
At the end of the first, UIW led McNeese 14-3.
The Cardinals would add a 36-yard field goal early in the second quarter, before putting together back-to-back touchdown drives.
UIW’s Ward hit Darion Chafin for a 56-yard touchdown pass, and then followed that up with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jaelin Campbell.
UIW put up 342 yards of offense in the first half with Ward completing 17-of-25 for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
McNeese put together a touchdown drive in the third quarter as the Cowboys went 80 yards on 17 plays. The drive was capped with a 9-yard touchdown run by Carlos Williams.
UIW responded with a 8-play, 44-yard drive which ended with a 48-yard field goal by Carson Mohr.
Early in the fourth, UIW added to its lead with a 5-play, 54-yard touchdown drive. Ward threw his fourth touchdown pass to his fourth different wide receiver — this one a 8-yard pass to Roger McCuller.
McNeese would add a 27-yard field goal by Jacob Abel to make it 41-13 midway through the fourth.
McNeese would add another touchdown as Orgeron with a 12-yard touchdown run.
After the Cowboys tried to get the ball back by using all three of their timeouts, UIW added another score as backup quarterback Kevin Yeager threw a three-yard touchdown to Ameer King.
BIG NUMBER: 518
The McNeese Cowboys defense gave up 518 yards of offense to the visiting Incarnate Word offense. The Cardinals were balanced as well rushing for 209 yards and throwing for 309 yards. The 519 total also doesn’t include the 100-yard kick return for a touchdown.
PLAYER OF GAME: Cody Orgeron
The McNeese senior quarterback was one of the lone bright spots for the Cowboys. Orgeron would finish the game completing 18-of-32 passes for 202 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Orgeron also led the team in rushing with 72 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown.
UP NEXT: McNeese (1-1, 0-1 SLC) returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Hammond to take on Southeastern Louisiana. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.