ABILENE – An opportunistic defense and Tracy James’ 1-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left powered Abilene Christian University to a 17-10 win over McNeese in a Southland Conference game Saturday night in windy Wildcat Stadium.
The winning score was set up by recovery of a fumbled punt in Cowboy territory with 53 seconds left in the game.
Three of the two teams’ last five games against one another were settled by a total of 11 points, so another defensive struggle was not unexpected. ACU (2-2 overall, 1-1 in the Southland) sacked Cowboy quarterback Cody Orgeron six times and withstood problems in its own punting game in the fourth quarter to win its first league game of the season. McNeese fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
ACU’s Luke Anthony completed 26 of 44 passes for 313 yards and a score, and James scored his FCS-leading eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season. Josh Fink caught nine passes for 123 yards and James caught three for 80 yards, one a 59-yard scoring pass play that gave his team a 10-3 lead it enjoyed for most of the game.
McNeese was led by Elijah Mack’s 125 yards rushing and Cyron Sutton’s 109 receiving yards, and 189 yards passing by Orgeron. Sutton tied the contest at 10-10 in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard pass play with 1:53 left.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Sept. 28 at Incarnate Word for a 6 p.m. kickoff.