Roadrunners win another overtime thriller

UTSA football defeats UAB 44-38

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

Quarterback Frank Harris threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Cephus in a second overtime to beat UAB in Birmingham Saturday afternoon. UTSA (7-2, 5-0 C-USA) came into Saturday’s game as the number-one offense in Conference USA, while the Blazers (4-5, 2-4) came in as the number-one defense. The Roadrunners found themselves in another close ball game, making it their fifth one-possession game of the season. 

“That game was a lot like life: there’s a lot of good things in life, a lot of bad stuff in life, and whoever has the ability to stick to it — that old word sticktoitiveness — we just stick to it, man.” coach Jeff Traylor said after the game. 

UTSA was up by 14 points in the fourth quarter and not only let UAB tie the game up but also score first during the first overtime. Many teams would have quit giving up 21 unanswered points, but not the Roadrunners. 

“There [are] not many teams in the country that blow a 14-point lead with four minutes left, go to overtime, and the other team goes out and scores immediately, and you come right back and answer, and then you answer and then stop them,” Traylor said. 

The Roadrunners were first on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Harris threw to Zakhari Franklin for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Harris was 22 of 31 with 285 passing yards, the most passing yards UAB has allowed all season. Placekicker Jared Sackett had back-to-back field goals in the second quarter. The first was from 29-yards, and the second was from 31, putting UTSA up 13-0. 

DeWayne McBride had a 68-yard touchdown run for the Blazers midway through the second quarter. The Roadrunner offense drove down the field; however, they were forced to take another field goal from Sackett, this time for 46-yards. UAB made a field goal of their own to go into halftime trailing 16-10.

UAB scored first in the second half after a long drive. The 2-yard touchdown run by McBride put the Blazers up 17-16. Kevorian Barnes had a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to give UTSA the lead. Barnes had 114-yards rushing along with his single score. 

Harris went back to Franklin for a 12-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give the ‘Runners a two-touchdown lead. The Blazers put together a drive and concluded it with a 1-yard touchdown run from Jacob Zeno. UAB scored with 15 seconds left with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Zeno to Trea Shropshire to force overtime. 

Zeno’s pass to Tejhaun Palmer went 11-yards for a touchdown, making it 21 unanswered points. Harris’ 2-yard pass to Tykee Ogle-Kellogg tied the score at 38. With the Roadrunners turn again to score, Harris threw a 14-yard pass to Cephus to put UTSA ahead 44-38. The defense stood strong and forced UAB to turn the ball over on downs, ultimately securing the victory. 

UAB had more passing and rushing yards than UTSA, along with more time of possession. The Blazers, however, had double the amount of penalties as the ‘Runners and had two fumbles which UTSA took advantage of. This was the first time the Roadrunners won in Birmingham, and now UTSA is two games ahead of Rice in the C-USA standings. The Owls are the only team remaining on the ‘Runners’ schedule that has a shot at playing in the championship game; however, Rice still has to play North Texas and Western Kentucky, who are ranked second and third in the conference standings, respectively. UTSA has already beaten both of them. 

“I hope the Alamodome is rocking. We [have] a beautiful, beautiful football team. We are really injured and really beat up, but whoever we put out there, they find a way to win.” Traylor said.

UTSA will host Louisiana Tech at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.