Chris Brannick, Director of Sports Media Relations
EDMOND – The University of Central Oklahoma football team worked out a tough 27-13 win over Nebraska-Kearney before 5,089 homecoming fans at Wantland Stadium Saturday in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association action.
The Bronchos (3-4, 3-4) never trailed, but at the same time never looked too in control of the game.
“It wasn’t pretty, but is there a such thing as an ugly win?” UCO head football coach Nick Bobeck said. “They just fought for it again. I’m proud of the way they’re fighting. Even when things aren’t working, the guys just dug down and got it done.”
Bobeck said the defense – which was minus four regular starters and a handful of backups too – really fought to give the Bronchos the win.
Colton Lindsey led the Central effort on the defensive side of the ball. The junior linebacker made 10 tackles on the day. Stephan Robinson only made two tackles, but had the play of the game in the first half. Robinson, who usually plays cornerback, was shifted to safety due to the injuries in the Broncho secondary.
In the second quarter, 40 seconds on the clock and UCO leading 10-6, Kearney was marching down the field looking to go ahead before the half.
But on 2nd & 8 at the UCO 23, Kearney quarterback Steve Worthing rolled out and hurled a pass to the end zone. Robinson jumped in front of the ball and grabbed his second interception of the season at his own 2-yard line. He made a couple of would-be tacklers miss and suddenly had nothing but open field in front of him. Robinson sprinted in for the 98-yard interception return for a touchdown and UCO took a 17-6 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Bronchos got a handful of other big plays on defense. Justin Stewart picked up a sack, Chris Pogi also got an interception in the first half, and the battered Bronchos scrapped out eight pass break-ups on the day.
Offensively, Chas Stallard threw a pair of touchdown passes. He hit Josh Crockett on a 9-yard pass in the first quarter to put the Bronchos up 7-0. Stallard also connected with L’liott Curry on a 48-yard strike in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach for Kearney.
Stallard finished 20 of 31 passing with 189 yards and the two touchdown passes. He also threw one interception – just his third of the season. Crockett finished with two catches for 16 yards. Curry had two for 53 yards.
J.T. Luper hauled in 11 receptions Saturday. He finished with 89 yards. He nearly had a 55-yard touchdown, but the ball was about one foot in front of his outstretched arms as he dove into the end zone.
Jake Standlee led the charge on offense Saturday. The redshirt freshman running back, UCO’s only running back in uniform Saturday, carried the ball 16 times for 135 yards. Stallard added 48 yards on 11 carries, and Chandler Garrett ran the ball seven times for 32 yards.
Central Oklahoma is back on the road in Week 8. The Bronchos make the short trip up to Joplin, Mo. to take on Missouri Southern State on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m.