SAN ANTONIO — The UIW Cardinals returned home to Benson Stadium for their first football game on home turf in 16 months, downing Southeastern Louisiana 56-45 behind a record day from freshman quarterback Cameron Ward.
Ward set a program record with six touchdown passes and threw for 407 yards without an interception. With the win, UIW became the first team in the Southland Conference to move to 3-0.
Southeastern Louisiana got on the scoreboard first with a touchdown early in the first quarter but from there, it was all UIW. Ward found Robert Ferrel for a 7-yard score to tie the game at seven apiece. The Cardinals took the 14-7 lead after Ward connected with Tre Wolf for a 59-yard reception before Ward punched the ball home on a scramble.
The visitors tacked on a field goal but UIW added three consecutive touchdowns to blow the game wide open. Kevin Brown broke loose for a 75 yard score and after a Cardinal interception, Ward found Ferrel again to make it 28-16.
UIW’s defense forced another turnover on downs, which led to a 26-yard score as Ward hit Wolf to put the Cardinals up 35-16 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same as UIW added a touchdown before fans could settle back into their seats. Ward hit Ameer King for a 25-yard touchdown, extending the Cardinals lead to 42-16.
Ward also connected with Jaelin Campbell and Darion Chafin on 41-yard and 42-yard touchdown passes respectively.
The redshirt freshman quarterback has totaled 1,054 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three games of his college career.
“The kid is going to be special for us,” UIW Head Coach Eric Morris said. “Overall, I think he has really good savvy, and a good calmness about him. He loves to play the game, so I like where he’s at right now.”
UIW is now 3-0 (3-0, SLC) on the season and will return to the field next Saturday at 11 AM when they face Nicholls State on the road.