The Edmond Sun

Sports

November 2, 2013

Birmingham leads UCO to first win of season

EDMOND — Senior Josh Birmingham made his last game at Wantland Stadium a memorable one as he tallied four touchdowns Saturday in leading the UCO Bronchos to a 49-42 victory over Lincoln College. Birmingham netted 130 yards rushing on 29 carries, added 43 yards receiving and another 20 on a kickoff return for 193 all-purpose yards.

The victory, a fitting climax for week-long Homecoming activities at UCO, was the first of the season for the Bronchos and snapped a nine-game losing streak stretching into last season.

The Bronchos will wrap up the current season with a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association game in Boliver, Mo. against Southwest Baptist next week and then finish 2013 in Tahlequah against Northeastern Oklahoma State on Nov. 16.

UCO coach Nick Bobeck wasn't surprised at Birmingham's breakout performance.

"Josh has had a nagging calf injury which has slowed him down the past couple of games. With the open date last week, he was able to get well. We're proud of all the seniors. They've worked hard their entire careers, and there's nothing better than sending them off on a high note in their final home game," Bobeck said. The Bronchos honored the 10 seniors on the squad prior to kickoff.

Birmingham had touchdown runs of 14, 11, 16 and 4 yards to add to his school record totals for both touchdowns and all-purpose yards. With two games left in the season, he is 386 yards shy of the school's career rushing record.

Junior wide receiver Marquez Clark, who broke the school's record for most all-purpose yards in one season, broke the record with an 85-yard punt return. Clark caught nine passes for 165 yards and finished with 284 all-purpose yards on the day.

The Bronchos (1-7) controlled the game early, opening up a two-score lead after the first six minutes. Birmingham rushed 13 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, including a 14-yard score to cap UCO's first drive.

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