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The Antelope

Lopers let home opener slip away

Sedarius Young securing a catch

JD Rader

Powered by a 21-point fourth quarter, the University of Central Oklahoma came into Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field and spoiled the Loper’s home opener by winning 28-23.

“That was a tough loss,” said Redshirt Senior Jacob Browne. “We just beat ourselves. I think we needed to relax a little bit. We need to be conscious of that.”

This is not the first time that the Lopers have struggled to play consistently through four quarters of play. Last year UNK had several games they lost that they were winning at halftime.

“I thought we played well,” said Redshirt Junior Blake Schroeder. “Just made some big mistakes at the end of the fourth quarter. We need to learn how to play good for four quarters of a football game, but that was a tough football team we played. It will help us in the long run.”

It was a tale of three quarters vs one Thursday night. 

Through the first three, the Lopers held a 17-7 lead. UNK scored in every quarter, including two touchdowns from Redshirt senior Darrius Webb, while UCO hadn’t scored since halfway through the first quarter on their first possession of the game.

UNK cheerleaders celebrate after a Loper touchdown

However, after UNK kicker Junior Gonzalez missed a 42-yard field goal attempt to start the fourth quarter, the Broncos put together two 80 plus-yard drives to go up 21-17. 

The Lopers then fumbled on their next offensive play, setting up the Broncos with first and goal from the UNK eight-yard line. After two rushing plays, UCO went up 28-17 with 4:09 left in the game. 

Despite the setback, UNK didn’t give up. After picking up 51 yards in just over one minute, the Lopers failed on fourth down, turning the ball over, but forced UCO to go four-and-out on their next possession. 

Quarterback Alex McGinnis then went 4-6 including a six-yard touchdown pass to Redshirt senior Luke Quinn with 51 seconds remaining in the game to make the score 28-23.

Despite a quality onside kick, the Lopers were unable to recover and UCO was able to run out the remaining time on the clock.

Despite leading the Broncos in almost every statistical category, the Lopers fell 29-23. A large reason for this being the Lopers inability to score when in the red zone. Four-times UNK got the ball inside the UCO 30-yard line but failed to score. 

Redshirt-senior wide receiver Sedarius Young (Orlando, Fla.) paced the offense. He had four receptions for 160 yards. 

The Lopers next travel to Emporia, Kansas for a matchup with Emporia State on Sep.21 at 2 p.m. UNK looks to avenge a 20-17 loss they had to the Hornets at home in 2018.

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