Via TSU Sports Information:
SAN ANTONIO – It was a tale of two halves as Texas Southern fought back from an early deficit with a furious third quarter rally but fell short at the end as Incarnate Word won a wild shootout by a 63-44 margin at Benson Stadium Saturday night.
The Cardinals claimed an early 14-0 lead after two early touchdowns in the first quarter. TSU would find the scoreboard for the first time on its second possession as Chris Long caught a 15-yard reception from DeAndre Johnson. The Tigers would get a big stop on the ensuing defensive possession and the offense took advantage as Richard Garcia III nailed a 25-yard field goal for a 14-10 deficit at the 14:51 mark of the second quarter.
UIW would answer on the ground on the ensuing drive as Kevin Brown broke free for a 32-yard run en route to a 21-10 lead after the PAT. The tide of the game would turn back to UIW minutes later as the Tigers fumbled the kickoff which led to UIW recovery and a 30-yard touchdown. Carson Mohr’s PAT was good as the deficit increased to 28-10 with 13:01 left.
TSU’s next drive would stall at the UIW 45 and the Cardinals went to their run game to set up a 3-yard touchdown for a 35-10 margin after the PAT. The Tigers would force a big fumble deep in their own territory on the next defensive possession and the offense rewarded them for their efforts as Tren’Davian Dickson took a pass from Johnson 87 yards for the touchdown. Garcia III’s PAT was good as they trailed 35-17 with 5:02 remaining. Unfortunately, the momentum was short-lived as UIW tacked on another touchdown late in the half to go into the locker room on top 42-17.
Despite the slow start, the Tigers came out in the third quarter full of energy as they marched down the field 75 yards in six plays as Dickson scored on a 15-yard pass from Johnson. UIW would answer with a touchdown but the Tigers kept on fighting as freshman LaDarius Owens had an impressive 49-yard scoring run followed by 1-yard touchdown run on the team’s next drive to cut the deficit to 49-37 after the PAT with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers had an opportunity to make a key stop early in the fourth quarter but UIW’s Kam Williams beat the defender on one-on-one coverage for a 70-yard reception on 3rd-and-16 with 9:53 left. The UIW offense would add another score six minutes later but TSU continued to fight as Devin Williams found Roylain Oliver for a 3-yard touchdown reception with 15 seconds remaining.
The Tigers would finish Saturday’s wild affair with 505 yards of total offense. Johnson passed for 331 yards on 20-of-30 attempts with one interception while Dickson put together a career-high 220 yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns. Owens once again finished a few yards short of 100 yards with 94 yards on 14 attempts with two touchdowns. Defensively, Josh Murray had 11 stops followed by eight from Ike Onwuasoanya.
The Tigers are back in action next weekend in Lafayette, La. as they’ll face the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns at 6:30 p.m.