The Edmond Sun


September 5, 2013

Bronchos fall in opener

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri Southern’s potent triple-option attack was simply too much for Central Oklahoma at Missouri Southern University Thursday night.

Dual-threat quarterback Jay McDowell dissected the Bronchos with his running and passing as UCO fell behind early and never recovered in dropping a wild 52-38 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association decision at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

The Lions rolled up 308 of their 473 yards in the first half to grab a big 35-14 lead and stayed safely in front the rest of the way to hand the Bronchos their sixth straight season-opening loss.

Central Oklahoma trailed by two-plus touchdowns most of the game, but tried to make it interesting at the end. The Bronchos cut a 49-24 deficit to 52-38 with less than five minutes left and drove inside MSSU’s 30-yard-line in the final two minutes before coming up short on fourth down.

“Missouri Southern just took it to us offensively,” UCO head coach Nick Bobeck said. “We made a lot of mistakes and it’s definitely a disappointing start, but there were some positives and our guys never gave up. We have to put this game behind us, learn from it and get ready for next week.”

The Bronchos open a two-game homestand next Saturday, hosting league rival Pittsburg State (Kan.) at 6 p.m.

McDowell accounted for four touchdowns, hitting 10-of-11 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns while adding 15 rushes for 121 yards and two scores.

UCO actually outgained the Lions, finishing with 511 yards. Quarterback Adrian Nelson had the 14th-best single-game passing performance in school history with 328 yards — hitting 16-of-33 attempts — and Marquez Clark hauled in four of those passes for 137 yards.

Star running back Joshua Birmingham had the 15th 100-yard rushing game of his stellar career, racking up 169 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries while also setting a single-game school record with eight kickoff returns for 114 yards. He finished with 303 all-purpose yards, the third-best single-game outing at UCO.

Missouri Southern jumped on top early, scoring on its first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead barely 10 minutes into the game as McDowell had a 15-yard score and Giresse Forchu a two-yard  TD.

The Bronchos answered the second score with a 74-yard scoring march that Birmingham capped with a 19-yard scamper through a big hole on the right side. Nelson had a big 23-yard pass in the drive and Birmingham gained 46 yards on five carries.

That cut the deficit to 14-7, but the Lions needed just three plays to regain control as McDowell threw a 60-yard bomb. UCO lost a fumble in Missouri Southern territory on its next possession and McDowell made the Bronchos pay with a 51-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7 early in the second quarter.

Clark put the Bronchos in prime position with a 62-yard return on the ensuing kickoff and Birmingham picked up his second TD two plays later with a nifty 22-yard dash, popping up after landing on a would-be tackler at the five-yard-line to complete the score.

McDowell’s five-yard TD keeper late in the half gave the Lions their 35-14 cushion that UCO cut to 35-17 on Seth Hiddink’s 32-yard field goal to open the third quarter, with Nelson’s 39-yard pass to Clark the big play in that drive.

Birmingham offset another Forchu touchdown run with a two-yard scoring burst on a fourth-down play, but the Lions scored again late in the third quarter to take a big 49-24 lead.

The Bronchos didn’t go away quietly, sandwiching Birmingham’s fourth score of the night — this one from two yards out — and Nelson’s 69-yard scoring pass to Clark around a Missouri Southern field goal to pull within 52-38 in the waning minutes.

UCO forced a quick punt and got the ball back with less than three minutes left, but Nelson’s fourth-down pass from the Lion 27 fell incomplete with a minute remaining to end any hopes of a miracle comeback.

Text Only
  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson 17 tee.jpg Gibson closes British Open with a 78, 3 birdies in final 6 holes

    Even if he didn’t post the score he wanted, Rhein Gibson left Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday knowing he at least finished strong.
    Gibson’s final-round 6-over-par 78 at the British Open looks a lot better when one considers he birdied three of his final six holes. The Oklahoma Christian alum finished his first major championship at 10-over-par 298 — in 72nd place overall — earning himself a paycheck of $20,840.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OGA Reid mug.jpg Edmond’s Reid comes back to win Senior Stroke Play

    James Reid, of Edmond, rallied to win the OGA’s Senior Stroke Play Championship with a smoking 67 July 15 at the Trails Country Club in Norman. Edmond’s Jon Valuck tied for fifth place.
    In the pro series, Cameron Meyers of Edmond shot 68-70 for the top prize while Andrew Green of Edmond finished third.

    Oklahoma Golf Association
    Senior Stroke Play Championship
    July 14-15
    The Trails Golf Club
    Final Results

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-AF Will Conant kicker.jpg Air Force kicker Conant named to Groza Award watch list

    Air Force senior Will Conant, an Edmond Memorial graduate, is one of 30 players nationwide to be named to the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    Conant hit 32-of-33 PATs and 11-of-13 field-goal attempts last season. He ranked third in the conference in field-goal percentage with an 84.6 mark that is the fourth-best in school history and best since Joey Ashcroft hit 88.8 percent (16-18) in 2002.
    Conant is one of two kickers in Air Force history to hit three times from 50-plus yards in a season. He hit three 52-yard kicks last season (versus Colgate, San Diego State, New Mexico), matching Ryan Harrison’s three 50-plus field goals in 2007. Conant’s three 50-plus field goals already rank him third in school history in career 50-yard field goals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson British Open.jpg OC alum Gibson holes pressure putt on 18, makes cut at British Open

    It was the biggest putt of Rhein Gibson’s life — which is saying something for a guy who once shot a world-record 55 — and the Oklahoma Christian alum and Edmond resident responded the way he has so many times before.
    A four-time NAIA All-American while at Oklahoma Christian University, Gibson made the 15-footer for a birdie on No. 18 as darkness descended at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, capping a 2-over-par 74 and allowing him to make the cut in the world’s most prestigious tournament.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Senior Open Josh Cook hands on hips.jpg ‘Cook’-ing up a championship golf course

    When the practice rounds began at the U.S. Senior Open July 7, the ramblings were almost non-stop.
    From the players who live at the course to professional golfers from across the ocean and diverse parts of the globe, the consensus was that Oak Tree National was in tremendous shape and the players were keyed up to compete on it.
    “The golf course is fantastic,” Oak Tree resident Bob Tway said on the first day of competition July 10. “It’s hard, but it’s fantastic.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OPINION: Posturing, predictions fly as SEC turns to a new season

    Little news is truly made at the Southeastern Conference's media days, where players and coaches predict, insinuate and deflect in advance of this fall's college football season.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OPINION: James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams

    Can LeBron James change Cleveland sports history? Overcoming this city's tortured curse could prove impossible - even for the world's best basketball player.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo