Turnovers cost Kats in loss at Incarnate Word

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SAN ANTONIO – The No. 21 Sam Houston State Bearkats committed seven turnovers and fell, 43-26, on Saturday afternoon to UIW at Benson Stadium.

The Bearkats (5-4, 4-3 SLC) held a 13-6 lead in the first half despite two turnovers, but fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line going in for a possible three-score lead and UIW (5-4, 5-2 SLC) took control from there. The Cardinals scored 10 points to end the half and then went for 27 points to open up the second half to take control of the game.

Nathan Stewart hauled in a pair of touchdowns and a season-high 157 yards, but the 27-point third quarter and seven turnovers was too much for Sam Houston to overcome. Ty Brock threw for 284 yards and those two scores, but was picked off a pair of times along with losing a pair of fumbles.

Dee Bowens also added 108 yards on seven catches, marking the second straight weekend that both Stewart and Bowens had 100 yards. Defensively Derick Roberson added two sacks to his FCS-leading total, along with forcing a fumble.

UP NEXT The Kats will return home to close out its home slate on Saturday when it hosts Abilene Christian. The game will be aired on Eleven Sports and is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

The Kats committed four turnovers in the opening half, leading to all 16 Cardinal points and a 16-13 deficit at the break. They gave the ball back to UIW on a deflected punt after the opening drive and then handing it over on an interception by Brock on the second drive. UIW was able to convert the second takeaway into points when Copeland found Phillip Baptiste in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown, putting the Cardinals up 6-0 less than six minutes into the game.

The Kats would answer back, however, taking a 10-6 lead at the end of one quarter despite five penalties in the period. They took advantage of a UIW targeting call that pushed the ball deep into Cardinal territory when Brock found Stewart in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown to put SHSU up 7-6. Two drives later they took advantage of a shanked punt and upped the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Tre Honshtein.

Roberson’s second sack of the game helped the Kats get more points in the second quarter when he sacked Copeland and forced a fumble that Erick Fowler fell on, giving the Kats a first down at the UIW 13. SHSU would push it inside the Cardinal 5-yard line, but no further as they settled for a 23-yard FG from Honsthein that pushed the lead to 13-6.

Sam Houston had a chance to put a stranglehold on the game one drive later when a 51-yard pass from Brock to Dee Bowens pushed the ball deep into UIW territory. But Chase McCray gave the ball back to UIW on a fumble at the 1-yard line. UIW would then march 78 yards on eight plays to get a field goal. Brock then threw another interception two snaps later and Copeland hit Kody Edwards from 30 yards away on the next snap to take a 16-13 lead.

The teams traded big-play touchdowns to open up the second half with UIW getting a 71-yard touchdown catch from Copeland to Edwards, and the Kats answering on the next play from scrimmage when Brock found Stewart from 75 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

Sam Houston’s defense responded with a stop, but the Kats turned it over for the fifth time in the game when Brock fumbled on a scramble to the right and Javon Burse raced 46 yards for a score to put UIW back up 30-20.

One drive later UIW added to its lead later on in the quarter on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Copeland to Ameer King and a 2-yard run by Ra’Quanne Dickens. Neither team would get back on the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter when Mike Dare led the Kats into the end zone, hitting Dewaylon Ingram for a seven-yard score to cap the drive.