Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Football closes out first season with 49-7 victory

A season that felt like it would never arrive came to an end Saturday Nov. 19 when the UTSA Roadrunners defeated the Minot State Beavers, 49-7, in front of a crowd of 32,369.

“It was a rollercoaster,” free safety Mark Waters said when asked to describe the season.

The rollercoaster ride came to a spectacular end as the Roadrunners took the Alamodome field in a scene reminiscent of the first game back on Sept. 3.  

Like that first game so long ago, the Roadrunners jumped on their opponent, in this case the Beavers.  The Roadrunners used a 67-yard Jason Neill interception return at the 12:01 mark of the opening quarter to take the first lead of the day, 7-0.

It was a lead the Roadrunners would not give up as they, for all intents and purposes, put the game out of reach with an Evans Okotcha 77-yard touchdown scamper that put them up 14-0 halfway through the opening quarter.

“I thought I was going to make it,” Evans said of his run that thus far is the longest play from scrimmage in school history. “It was a good play call and great execution by the o-line.”

The Roadrunners would add one more touchdown before the first quarter ended to take a 21-0 lead when Kam Jones took the snap and ran the ball to the left 22 yards into the end zone.

The Beavers would attempt to cut into the lead in the second quarter when they drove the ball on the Roadrunner defense and got what would amount to their only points of the day when Tyson Schatz took the ball two yards across the goal line, cutting the deficit down to 21-7.

The score would remain 21-7 at the half and it looked as though the Beavers might climb back in when they kicked and recovered an onside kick to start the second half.  The Roadrunners would have none of it as they forced the Beavers to go three-and-out and punt.  

The Roadrunners would then take the ball and drive down for a score that put the lead at 28-7.  Another touchdown would follow in the third quarter and two more in the fourth to give the Roadrunners the 49-7 victory to close out their first year of play with a record of 4-6.

With the first season in the books, Head Coach Larry Coker looked back on what the young Roadrunners had done.

“I think we laid a great foundation,” Coker said.  “It’s a process.  We’ve got a lot more to do.”

In addition to being the final home game of the 2011 season, it was also the final game in a Roadrunner uniform for Waters, the lone senior on the team.

“It feels picture perfect,” Waters said.  “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

For Roadrunner Defensive Coordinator Neal Neathery the departure of Waters will mean someone else will have to fill his shoes.

“The thing that guy has is attitude,” Neathery said.  “It is the same everyday, his energy level and enthusiasm never wavers.”

The Roadrunners opening season taught everyone something different, for quarterback Eric Soza it taught the importance of pushing the limits.

“We could have gone 10-0 playing weak schools but we wouldn’t have known how much we could push ourselves,” Soza said.

The Roadrunners will enter into an offseason knowing what worked and what didn’t.

“I want to get back to work, next year is going to be here before we know it,” Soza said.  “We are just going to have to get back to work and fine tune the things that didn’t work this year.”

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