NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to spark a 37-17 Southland Conference football win over McNeese State on Saturday.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Cowboys (3-5, 2-3). SFA, which snapped a five-game losing streak last week, won its second straight game, lifting its record to 3-5 and 2-2.
McNeese led 17-13 at halftime, but after intermission, it was all SFA.
The Cowboys were outgained in total yardage, with SFA netting 435 yards to the Cowboys’ 228. McNeese had 30 yards rushing on 37 carries and added 198 yards passing. SFA rushed for 187 yards and passed for 248 more.
McNeese quaterback Cody Stroud completed 22 of 37 passes for the 198 yards with a touchdown. He also had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and he was sacked nine times.
Andre Anderson netted 36 yards rushing to lead the Cowboys, while Darius Carey caught five passes for 58 yards.
Malcolm Bronson led the Cowboys defense with 13 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass interception. Joe Narcisse was credited wih 11 tackles.
The Lumberjacks scored the game’s first touchdown, but the Cowboys put 17 points on the board for a 17-7 lead.
SFA running back Jeremy Barnes went over from the 7-yard line to cap an 80-yard drive for the game’s first score.
McNeese came back with a 5-yard TD run by former Donaldsonville standout Champlain Babin, a 27-yard field goal by former Denham Springs standout Josh Lewis and a 2-yard TD pass from Stroud to Harold Turnage.
Babin’s TD run finished off a 59-yard McNeese drive that was helped along by four straight Stroud pass completions.
Bronson’s fumble recovery set up the next McNeese score. He recovered the fumble on the SFA 11, and after three plays netted only 1 yard, Lewis booted the 27-yard field goal, his eighth of the season.
The Cowboys’ final score came early in the second period following Bronson’s pass interception, his second of the season and the ninth in his career. He returned the interception 67 yards, and after Anderson moved the ball to the 2, Stroud hit Turnage with the touchdown strike. It was the first career touchdown catch by the Cowboys tight end.
In the second half while SFA was scoring 24 points, the Cowboys couldn’t get anything going. They rushed for 14 yards and passed for 109 in the second half, having two of their drives by interceptions.
Besides Barnes’ first quarter run, SFA also scored on field goals of 19, 21 and 28 yards by Jordan Wiggs, a 9-yard pass from Brady Attaway to Corde Roberson and on a pass interception in the end zone and on a 1-yard run by Fred Ford.