LAS CRUCES – The UIW Cardinals fell 41-28 to New Mexico State at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon in their penultimate game of the season.
The loss is the fourth straight for UIW, who will close the 2019 season on Friday night for senior day.
New Mexico raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with quarterback Josh Adkins finding Tony Nicholson for a 34-yard touchdown and again on a 42-yard pass, completing a 44-yard, three-play drive.
The Aggies began the second quarter with a 77-yard punt return to put the home team up 21-0. Cardinals quarterback Kevin Yeager helped led UIW down the field as he completed 4-of-10 passes for 62 yards. Running back Keyondrick Philo ran the ball into the endzone from four yards out to cut the UIW deficit to 21-7. New Mexico added on a field goal to make it 24-7 at halftime.
Both sides were scoreless until the late stages of the third quarter when Dylan Brown’s 28-yard field goal put New Mexico up 27-7 with 4:48 to go in the frame. Jon Copeland and UIW responded as the sophomore quarterback hit Ameer King for an 11-yard touchdown, making it 27-14 after three quarters.
Jason Huntley opened the scoring for the Aggies but the Cardinals responded with a 100-yard kickoff return to make it 34-21 with 13:46 left in the game. New Mexico added another touchdown and Copeland ran for a one-yard score to cap off the 41-28 win for the Aggies.
Copeland finished the game by completing 18 out of 40 pass attempts for 181 yards. He passed the 3,000-yard passing mark for the 2019 season, becoming the first quarterback in program history to do that in a single season.
The UIW Cardinals are now 5-6 (4-4, Southland) on the season and will return to the field next Friday when they close out the 2019 season against Central Arkansas at 6 p.m.