UCO Football Earns Their First Win of the Season
The UCO Bronchos celebrate after a touchdown made by running back Jake Gandara, 24, against Missouri Western on Sept. 24, 2016. The team won the game 31-21, gaining their first win of the season. Photo by Ryan Naeve, The Vista.
An hour and a half weather delay did not affect the effort of the Broncho football team, as they beat Missouri Western State University (2-2, 2-2) 31-21 Saturday for their first win of the season.
In the midst of the National Anthem protest, Bronchos’ sophomore wide receiver Stephan Robinson was seen kneeling during the singing of the anthem before the game.
“That’s one of the great things about our country,” head coach Nick Bobeck said, supporting and talking about the importance of having the right to protest. “He has a right to do whatever he wants to do.”
— UCO Men’s Basketball (@UCOMBB) September 25, 2016
With this being the fourth week of the season play, senior quarterback T.J. Eckert has already climbed up in the record books. Eckert threw for 246 yards making him fourth on the all-time passing list at UCO with 4,777 yards. The record, set by Brett Manning (1998-01), is 5,823 yards.
Here is the breakdown of Saturday night’s game:
First Quarter: The UCO defense caused havoc for the Griffon offense for the entire game. Redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Pogi began the madness with a huge sack early in the quarter.
This set the tone for the defense, as junior defensive back Braden Calip gets an interception at the 12:01 mark in the first.
On offense, the run game was as powerful as it has always been. Junior running back Jake Gandara scored a 24-yard touchdown at 7:26 in the first.
“Jake set the tone for the entire football game,” head coach Nick Bobeck said.
With a successful field goal kick, the Broncho went up 7-0.
Second Quarter: The UCO offense were still rolling coming into the second quarter as Gandara ran in a 9-yard touchdown at the 13:05 mark. This gave the Bronchos a 14-0 lead early in the game, but the Griffons would soon respond.
On the next possession, Windmiller completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore Jesse Dickens, tying the score 14-14 in the second quarter.
With under a minute, senior kicker Seth Hiddink would kick a 35-yard field goal, making the score 17-14 going into half time.
Third Quarter: UCO would start off explosive coming out in the third. Gandara ran in his third touchdown of the night early in the quarter making the score 24-14. Gandara would finish the game with 81 rucking yard for the night.
Later in the third, the Griffon’s attempted to make a comeback. Redshirt sophomore Josh Caldwell ran in 24-yard touchdown making the score 24-21.
At the 6:53 mark the officials announced a weather delay, which was the second consecutive delay for the Bronchos.
“Last week we had a delay as well and we didn’t respond to it well,” Bobeck said. “We talked at length this week about how to handle situations like that. It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond.”
And the Bronchos responded very well after the delay as Pogi forced a fumble with under three minutes left in the quarter setting a huge tone going into the fourth.
“We had some physical football plays tonight and when you are physical you have a chance to get the ball out,” Bobeck said.
Fourth Quarter: Early in the fourth, junior running back Clay McKenzie scored his first and only touchdown of the game giving the Bronchos a ten point lead with a score of 31-21.
The UCO defense would pressure the Griffons’ offense for the rest of the game as the final score was 31-21.
The UCO Bronchos (1-3, 1-3) will face off against Emporia State University (3-1, 3-1) in Emporia, Kansas next Saturday Oct. 1st at 2 p.m.