NATCHITOCHES, La. (PSN) — The UIW Cardinals are red hot and not even threats of a thunderstorm would be enough to cool them off on Saturday night in Louisiana.
The Cardinals took an early lead and never looked back as they defeated the Northwestern State Demons 38-27 at Turpin Stadium, earning their fourth consecutive victory.
The win for UIW puts them at 4-1 overall on the season and 2-0 in Southland Conference play. The 4-1 mark is their best start in program history and is their second four-game winning streak in school history.
UIW took the lead on just two plays, capped off with a Cameron Ward 2-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Hardy to put the Cardinals up 7-0 just 32 seconds into the game. The Cardinals’ defense made quick work of the Demons’ first drive and Marcus Cooper got loose for a 60-yard touchdown run, giving UIW the 14-0 lead.
The Demons finally got on the scoreboard in the second quarter on a 40-yard field goal from Eddie Godina. UIW answered back just two minutes later when Ward and Hardy connected again for a score, this time from 17 yards out.
On NSU’s next possession, Kaleb Fletcher took the Demons downfield and completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Jay Griffin, cutting the deficit to 21-10, giving NSU their first touchdown of the night. After Ward found Kevin Brown for a 54-yard touchdown, UIW’s defense held the Demons to a field goal on the next drive, making it a 28-13 game at halftime.
Both teams stepped up their defense in the second half as NSU allowed just 10 points compared to UIW’s defense allowing 14 points. The Demons picked off Ward twice but the Cardinals’ defensive wall did not allow NSU to take much advantage of those giveaways.
The Demons struck first in the third quarter when Fletcher found a wide-open Javonis Issac in the end zone for the touchdown, making it a one-score game. On the next possession, Ward led UIW downfield, and Cooper capped off the drive with a four-yard run for a score. Cooper’s second score of the game put the Cardinals up 35-20 going into the final quarter.
Javonis Isaac finds the end zone for the first time in his career.
Demons within one score, 28-20. pic.twitter.com/zH8rCeAoBl
— NSU Football (@NSUDemonsFB) October 3, 2021
UIW closed their scoring with a 23-yard field goal from Carson Mohr early in the 4th quarter.
Ward finished the game by completing 25-of-37 passes for 348 yards with three touchdown passes, two interceptions, and 31 yards rushing.
With time running out, NSU added one final score on a Zach Clemen 2-yard touchdown run to make it 38-27 before the game went final.
Fletcher finished the game with two touchdown passes on 36 completed passes for 319 yards. For the game, NSU did more damage on the ground, outgaining the Cardinals 182-169.
The Cardinals will have next weekend off before returning to the field on October 16 at 11 A.M. against Nicholls (2-2, 1-0) at Benson Stadium.