SFA Falls Short in Lake Charles
Oct. 27, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks were unable to extend their win streak to four games over McNeese State, dropping a 35-24 decision to the Cowboys Saturday in Lake Charles. The loss drops SFA to 3-5 overall, and 2-2 in Southland Conference play.
After forcing the Cowboys to punt on their first two possessions, the Lumberjacks started their second possession inside the their own 20 and McNeese State made the first big play of the game. The Cowboys recovered a Gus Johnson fumble and converted the miscue into seven points. SFA took the ensuing possession and moved into Cowboy territory before a fumbled snap stalled the drive. The Cowboys utilized a long punt return to set up their second score to take a 14-0 lead.
McNeese State picked off a Brady Attaway pass, but the Lumberjack defense didn't allow the Cowboys to convert into points forcing a punt. SFA responded by moving the ball 72 yards on 10 plays to cut the Cowboys' lead in half, 14-7. The drive was capped by a three-yard pass from Attaway to senior Cordell Roberson (38th TD reception of Roberson's career).
McNeese State responded with an eight-play, 83-yard drive to regain the lead. Quarterback Cody Stroud found Josh Jordan from 20 yards out for the score.
Despite trailing at the half, the Lumberjacks outgained their hosts in the first half, 257-191.
The Lumberjacks struck quickly in the second half scoring the first 10 points, including a touchdown to tie the game just two minutes into the half. The Cowboys took the lead back when Kenny Brown hauled in a 15-yard TD reception with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter, 28-24.
The fourth quarter was relatively uneventful as SFA got the ball back with 4:18 on the clock, but the offense went backward with a fumble, taking a sack and an interception. Following the interception, McNeese State's Marcus Wiltz took the ball 30 yards through traffic for the score to put the game away.
Attaway completed a stadium record 42 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns on the night. The Lumberjacks rolled up 529 yards of total offense, while holding the Cowboys to 368. Freshman receiver Aaron Thomas had a career night with seven catches for 99 yards.
SFA went to its ground attack more against McNeese State. The Lumberjacks carried the ball 32 times for 151 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Gus Johnson finished the game with 13 carries for 93 yards, while freshman Doug Gentry had 15 carries for 84 yards.
The Lumberjacks return to action Saturday, Nov. 3, when they return home to host Lamar. The game against the Cardinals is slated to begin at 6 p.m.