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TAMUC – Sports

Photo – Caitlin Jester

No. 9/8 UIW drops Lion Football, 35-7

COMMERCE – The No. 9/8 ranked Incarnate Word Cardinals downed the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team by 35-7 on Saturday afternoon inside Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium. 

The Lions dropped their first conference game as a member of the Southland Conference, falling to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play overall. UIW is also 3-1 in conference play and 8-1 overall.

The Cardinals were ranked No. 9 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) rankings, and No. 8 in the FCS Stats Perform Top 25 rankings this week. A&M-Commerce and UIW tied for second place, with two conference games remaining for both teams. 

Coming into Saturday’s game, UIW was the conference’s top-rated offense, and the Lions were the conference’s top-rated defense. Both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter, but the Lions did have a pass intercepted in the red zone. UIW opened the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown rush from Lindsey Scott, Jr. in the second quarter on its second drive of the game. 

The Lions answered with a four-yard touchdown run by Cameron Nellor (Mt. Vernon) to tie the game with 4:09 left in the second quarter. After that, Marcus Cooper rushed for three touchdowns, and his first run was from five yards out with 1:10 left in the second quarter. His other two touchdown runs were for four and three yards, respectively, and both came in the fourth quarter. 

Scott Jr., who had 37 passing touchdowns on the season, added one more, a 34-yard pass to Brandon Porter, who had 127 receiving yards, in the third quarter. It is the second game that the Lions were held without a passing touchdown all season. It happened before at Sam Houston. 

D’Ante Smith (Richardson – Berkner) had two interceptions for the Lions, one coming in the end zone, and he totaled 26 yards in the two returns. Michael Noble (Orange, Calif.) had 15 tackles for the Lions, while Kelechi Anyalebechi had 15 for the Cardinals and an interception. 

Dee Walker (Moultrie, Ga.) added nine tackles for A&M-Commerce, and both Smith and Max Epps (Spring – Dekaney) had seven tackles each. 

The seven points for the Lions are the fewest in a game this season. UIW outgained the Lions 582-272 overall and 308 to 139 on the ground. Eric Rodriguez (Fort Bend Travis) went 16 for 27 passing for 162 yards but did have two interceptions. 

Scott, Jr. also threw two interceptions, going 19 for 29 passing with 282 yards. Cooper rushed for 183 yards to go along with his three touchdowns. 

It was the fourth time the two teams had met, and UIW had come out on the winning end each time. 

UP NEXT

The Lions conclude the three-match homestand next Saturday at 2:00 pm against Northwestern State, now the only undefeated team remaining in conference play at 3-0.