The football team had a chance to upset No. 10 McNeese Saturday in the closing seconds of the game, but came up short on its final drive and fell 24-21.
McNeese looked like they wanted to run away with the game in the first quarter as their first drive of the game went for eight plays and 83 yards capped off by a six-yard pass from senior quarterback James Tabary to sophomore wide receiver Trevor Begue.
ACU, however, came back with a touchdown of its own off a one-yard sneak by redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Anthony later in the first quarter to tie the game at seven apiece.
In the second quarter, both teams remained off the scoreboard right up until the end when McNeese’s senior kicker Gunnar Raborn hit a 28-yard field goal with three minutes left in the half to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead.
The Wildcats had no problem moving down the field though as they drove 60 yards in under two minutes and took a 14-10 lead into halftime thanks to a 17-yard touchdown pass from Anthony to junior transfer running back Billy McCrary.
McNeese struck first in the second half with a one-yard touchdown rush from David Hamm in the third quarter putting the Cowboys up 17-14.
Neither team scored until later in the fourth quarter when sophomore wide receiver Cyron Sutton returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown giving McNeese a two-possession lead at 24-14.
The return seemed to be the dagger that would put the Wildcats out of the game, but instead, they took their next possession 75 yards in under three minutes and scored a five-yard touchdown pass from Anthony to junior transfer wide receiver Torin Justice.
This left the Wildcats trailing 24-21 with 2:02 left in the game. ACU’s defense converted a three and out to get the ball back with 54 seconds left.
Anthony was able to pass for 24 yards to their own 25-yard line, however, he was sacked on the final play of the game to lead to the closing score of 24-21.
ACU totaled 315 yards in the game, and Anthony was responsible for nearly every yard passing for 314. The Wildcats picked up only one rushing yard after Anthony loss 47 yards from being sacked five times in the game.
Freshman wide receiver Kobe Clark was the leader in yards through the air with 78.
Defensively, junior linebacker Jeremiah Chambers continued his strong presence for the Wildcats as he earned 16 tackles in the game. He now has 63 tackles this year through six games, going well over his grand total of 50 last season.
Sophomore linebacker Jack Gibbens also performed well on defense with three tackles for a loss and a sack, as well as sophomore defensive end Kameron Hill who had two tackles for a loss and two sacks.
The Wildcats now slip to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play, while McNeese builds on a successful season at 5-1 overall and 4-0 against Southland competitors.
Next week is homecoming for ACU. The team will welcome Nicholls to Wildcat Stadium Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Coverage of the game can be watched on ESPN3 and heard on 98.1 FM.