UCO Football Upsets No. 23 Central Missouri 48-30
UCO running back Bruce White no. 22, runs in a touchdown in the first quarter of Saturday’s game versus Central Missouri. (Ryan Naeve/ The Vista)
The University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos beat No. 23 Central Missouri 48-30 in the final home game of the season to move to 5-4.
The Bronchos make history, with their first-ever victory against Central Missouri! Final: Bronchos 48, Mules 30. #RollChos
— UCO Bronchos (@ucoathletics) October 28, 2017
“Overall this is as clean of a football game that we have played,” Head Coach Nick Bobeck said. “I feel really good about the way we played. It was senior day and to send the kids out the way we did was pretty special. I’m really proud of them.”
After both teams opening drives stalled, UCM running back Koby Wilkerson punched it in from 8 yards to give UCM a 7-0 lead middle of the first quarter. UCO responded on the next drive as freshman walk-on running Bruce White, starting in place of injured running back Jake Standlee, ran it in from 13 yards for his first career touchdown to cap off a seven play, 85-yard drive to tie the game at 7-7 late first quarter.
Following a stop, kicker Alex Quevedo hit a 41-yard field goal set up by a 27-yard pass and catch from quarterback Chas Stallard to wide receiver Josh Crockett to take a 10-7 lead early second quarter. The Bronchos struck again on the next drive as Stallard found wide receiver J.T. Luper for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 17-7 middle of the second quarter.
With a little over a minute to go in the first half, UCM safety Tyron Taylor came from the right side of the field and blocked Jay Tedesco’s punt giving UCM the ball at their own 48-yard line.
The Bronchos defense forced a three-and-out but on the following drive Stallard was picked off by UCM cornerback Monteze Latimore who returned it all the way down to the Broncho 12-yard line.
However, linebacker Alex Figueroa came up big intercepting UCM quarterback Brook Bolles on the next play. UCO went into halftime up 17-7
The Bronchos offense totaled 238 yards in the first half, 184 came from Stallard.
UCO started the second half with a 1-yard touchdown run from White as the Bronchos took a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter.
UCM responded with a scoring drive of their own as kicker Alex Langer hit a 25-yard field goal to cut the Bronchos lead to 24-10 in the middle of the third quarter.
The Bronchos hit a field goal on their next drive as Quevedo nailed a 25-yard field goal to make it 27-10 late in the third quarter.
UCM opened the fourth quarter with a 31-yard touchdown on a pass from Bolles to wide receiver Jaylen Zachery to cut the Broncho lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter.
The Bronchos offense responded two-plays later as Stallard found wide receiver L’liott Curry open in the middle of the field and after a broken tackle took it 64-yards for a touchdown to take a 34-17 lead.
On the first play of the drive, cornerback Stephan Robinson corralled a deflected pass for an interception and returned it to the UCM 32-yard line.
The Bronchos capitalized on the turnover four plays later as Stallard connected with Curry for a 28-yard touchdown to take a commanding 41-17 lead early in the fourth.
Later in the fourth, the Bronchos put seven more points on the board as Stallard dumped the ball off to wide receiver Josh Crockett for a 45-yard touchdown to extend the Broncho lead to 48-17 early fourth quarter.
UCM did not back down, as Bolles found wide receiver Wesley Thomas for a 59-yard touchdown pass to make it 48-24.
Following a Broncho three-and-out, UCM running back Devante Turner punched it in from the 1-yard line to cut the lead to 18 in the middle of the fourth, 48-30 after the two-point conversion was no good.
After Stallard threw another interception, Broncho linebacker Colton Lindsey picked off Bolles and returned it to the UCM 38-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
Following a turnover on downs, the Bronchos forced another turnover as defensive back Trent Ellis intercepted Bolles at the 24-yard line to seal the Bronchos first-ever win over UCM.
“It’s a great group and program defining group,” Bobeck said about the senior class. “When you get tough kids, high character kids that you can mold and they allow you to mold them you can do some pretty special things and that’s what they’ve done.”
— Nick Bobeck (@NickBobeck) October 28, 2017
The Bronchos finished with 576 total yards of offense and 28 first downs. Stallard finished his final home game throwing for 381 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions on 26-of-40 passing and added 78 yards on the ground.
Luper finished his final home game snagging 11-catches for 124 yards and one touchdown while Crockett finished his final home game hauling in 7-catches for 114 yards and one touchdown. Curry finished with 6-catches for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“You try to get those kids the ball,” Bobeck said. “If you get those guys in space it’s hard to tackle them. The offensive staff did a great job with the gameplan and they were able to execute and put up some numbers.”
Fifth-string running back White, from Tulsa East Central High School, who was pressed into the starting role due to injuries and departures led the running attack with 134 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
“It goes back to character with Bruce,” Bobeck said. “He was willing to go in there and take his redshirt off last week and go out and start this week. He’s a tough kid maybe 5’5 150lbs but it doesn’t say much about the kid. He’s tough and he’s not afraid. I’m proud of him and it’s a story that I’ll tell for a long time.”
Defensively, the Bronchos held UCM 11.9 points under their season average. Linebackers Lindsey and Chris Pogi led in tackles with 10 and 7.
“We were able to stop the run,” Bobeck said. “If you stop the run you have a chance to win. As the game went we forced them to throw and we knew we could force some turnovers. Those guys did an unbelievable job.”
The Bronchos look to keep the winning momentum going as they travel to Washburn next Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.