The Edmond Sun

Sports

November 18, 2013

Central Oklahoma’s rally falls short

TAHLEQUAH — A frantic fourth-quarter rally fell short as Central Oklahoma dropped a wild 45-38 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association decision to intrastate rival Northeastern State in Tahlequah Saturday afternoon.

The Bronchos trailed 38-17 early in the fourth quarter before making things interesting down the stretch with three touchdowns in the final 10 minutes, but a school-record-tying five interceptions — including two inside the NSU 10-yard line — was too much to overcome.

UCO had a two-game winning streak stopped in dropping its fourth straight President’s Cup battle to the RiverHawks and ended the season 2-8.

“We battled and gave ourselves a chance at the end, but you can’t turn the ball over like that and expect to win,” Univeristy of Central Oklahoma head coach Nick Bobeck said. “It’s a tough way to end the season.”

T.J. Eckert hit 33-of-50 passes for 385 yards — the sixth-best game in school history — and three touchdowns as the Bronchos rolled up 551 total yards.

Marquez Clark tied his own school record with 13 catches for 156 yards in finishing with a single-season UCO record 82 receptions. 

Joshua Birmingham had 114 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 17 attempts, becoming just the second player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard mark (1,071) three times.

The RiverHawks ended up with 490 total yards, including 284 rushing. Tanner Koons made 12 tackles, including a pair for losses, to lead the defense.

Northeastern State appeared in control after taking a 38-17 lead early in the final period, but Clark’s 35-yard kickoff return ignited a 55-yard scoring drive that Birmingham ended with a one-yard smash up the middle with 9:06 remaining.

The Bronchos forced a quick punt and Clark’s 14-yard return set up another 55-yard TD march. Eckert had third-down passes of 10 yards to Christian Hood and 15 to Issac Whitney to keep the drive alive and he ended it with a 20-yard scoring strike to Sam Johnson.

Seth Hiddink’s extra point pulled UCO within 38-31 with 6:03 still to play and the Bronchos had the momentum, but NSU quarterback Thor Long broke off an 85-yard run on a scramble to set up a one-yard TD that put the RieverHawks back in front by 14 at the 4:47 mark.

The Bronchos were intercepted at the Northeastern State seven on their next possession before using all three timeouts and a defensive stop to get the ball right back at the RiverHawk 40 following a short punt.

Eckert hit Clark with a 31-yard pass on first down and the Bronchos scored five players later on Eckert’s fourth-down pass to Hood from four yards out.

Hiddink’s PAT made it 45-38 with 1:30 remaining, but NSU recovered the onside kick and ran out the rest of the clock.

Eckert was intercepted near mid-field on UCO’s first possession, but the Bronchos got the ball right back when Chase Talbert picked off a Northeastern pass at the Central 30-yard-line.

It took just two plays for the Bronchos to take the lead, with Eckert throwing to Clark for nine yards on first down before Birmingham broke free for a 61-yard score on the next play. Birmingham burst through a big hole over the left side and sprinted untouched the rest of the way for his 10th career TD run of 50-plus yards.

Hiddink added the extra point to make it 7-0 just four minutes into the game.

The RiverHawks tied it late in the opening quarter and then stopped Birmingham on a fourth-down run at the NSU 26 before going on a 16-play, 74-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead midway through the second period.

Eckert had passes of 22 yards to Hood and 24 to Clark as Central Oklahoma followed with a 65-yard drive that stalled at the Northeastern 10. The Bronchos lost four yards after reaching a first-and-goal at the six before Hiddink came on to knock through his ninth straight field goal — this one from 27 yards — to make it 14-10 with 5:09 left in the half.

The RiverHawks scored 10 unanswered points the rest of the way, capping a 71-yard touchdown drive at the 2:14 mark and adding a 50-yard field goal with 25 seconds left.

NSU took over at the Broncho 45 following Eckert’s second interception of the half, but Adrian Shoecraft knocked down a third-down pass from the 33 five plays later to force the long, wind-aided field goal.

The Bronchos opened the second half with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive to make it 24-17 as Eckert was 4-of-4 passing for 42 yards. Hood capped the march with a tough over-the-shoulder grab in the back of the end zone from six yards out for his first TD of the season.

Central Oklahoma forced a punt on the RiverHawks’ first second-half possession as Kenny Allen had a pair of sacks, but UCO went nowhere after a drive-opening 27-yard screen pass from Eckert to Birmingham and the RiverHawks followed with an 81-yard TD drive to go ahead 32-17.

Eckert’s fourth interception of the game — and the second after the ball was tipped in the air — led to a 45-yard NSU touchdown drive that made it 38-17 early in the final quarter.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OPINION: Wildcats aren't champs but we're all still watching Calipari

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is a college basketball phenom for his ability to knit together championship-caliber teams of freshmen. How long will Calipari's success last as other coaches catch on?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Mark Sharpton hurdles.jpg North boys win Deer Creek Invitational; Memorial girls clear 200 points

    The Edmond North boys track squad used a strong showing in the relays to roll up 178 points and outpoint host Deer Creek at the annual Deer Creek Antlers Invitational Friday at Deer Creek High School. The Antlers claimed the runner-up trophy with 158 points.
    It was more of the same in the girls division as powerful Edmond Memorial once again cracked the 200-point barrier en route a 203.7 total with North a distant second with 110 points.
    The Huskies got off to a roaring start as they won the 400 meter relay in 42.25 for 20 points shortly before Mark Sharpton, Jaylon Jones and Reagan Harris added 20 more points with a 1-3-4 finish in the 100 hurdles. Sharpton took the gold with a time of 14.75, Jones was third and Harris fourth. Harris won silver in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40:50.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-MMA Julian Learned 3.jpg Edmond mixed-martial artists raising money for bombing victims

    Nineteen years after the Oklahoma City bombing, one family says the financial loss still haunts them. Brandon and Rebecca Denny are two of only six child survivors from the American Kids Day Care on the second floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. After the bombing, Brandon spent several months in intensive care and a rehabilitation center before going home. He has a permanent shunt in the back of his head and now also suffers from seizures.

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • spts-UCO Kalynn Schrock rock back.jpg Schrock throws perfect game again

    Kalynn Schrock was overpowering from the outset in throwing a perfect game as No. 22-ranked Central Oklahoma blanked Washburn 4-0 in the first game of a Mid-America Athletics Association doubleheader in Topeka, Kan., Saturday afternoon.
    The Ichabods rebounded in the nightcap, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead en route to a 5-3 victory that dropped the defending champion Bronchos out of the league lead. UCO is now 35-11 on the season and 19-3 in the MIAA, trailing No. 5 Emporia State (36-9, 16-2) in the standings.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-ESF Collin Place head-knocker.jpg Santa Fe blanks Midwest City; Cain, Rivas score hat trick

    The Edmond Santa Fe boys used a big second half to blank Midwest City by a 2-0 count Friday night at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
    After missing several opportunities in the first half, the seventh-ranked Wolves found the mark in the final 40 minutes for the two-goal district win.
    “We’re 3-0 in district now so you can’t ask for anything more than that,” Wolfpack coach Joe Peeler said. “Moore and Southmoore are both improved so our next games will be tough.”

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • spts-EM Byron Graham new baseball coach.jpg The unwavering Bulldog

    You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone as Edmond as Byron Graham.
    He was born in 1947 at St. Anthony’s and was soon brought home to his house on Eighth Street. He never left, except for a stint to go to college at Oklahoma State and upon graduation, he landed right back teaching in the Edmond school district.
    Monday, Graham, a longtime educator and coach in Edmond, received a call informing him that he had been selected for the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. He will be inducted formally at 6:30 p.m. July 27 in the Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa.
    “It’s quite an honor,” he said. “I was surprised because I know the high school put out some information last year and I didn’t make it. I thought it was a one-time deal and really didn’t know.”

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • spts-EN Trevor Moore hands behind head.jpg North sweeps Southmoore

    Edmond North freshman Addy Guthrie assisted Abbey Bright on both goals in a 2-0 shutout of Southmoore Tuesday night at North High School.
    The triumph bumps up the Lady Huskies’ district record to 2-0.
    In boys action, the Huskies walloped the SaberCats 6-0 behind a pair of assists by senior Alex Mullet.
    Edmond North will host Moore Tuesday with the Lady Huskies kicking things off at 6 p.m.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp file Hoffner Fired coach unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    The president of Minnesota State University-Mankato accused a football coach of looking at Internet porn on a work computer before firing him, an arbitrator has revealed. The official said the claim could not be supported, and the coach shouldn't have been fired.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Photos