Coyotes drop 17-10 decision to UNO Saturday at Omaha

Coyotes drop 17-10 decision to UNO Saturday at Omaha James E. Johnson scored on a seven-yard run to key a 17-10 North Central Conference football win by Nebraska-Omaha (2-3) over South Dakota (0-4) on Saturday night at Al F. Caniglia Field in Omaha.

South Dakota moved the ball deep in UNO territory in the final five minutes but a pass by redshirt freshman quarterback Sean McLaughlin to junior wide receiver Foster Brodus was tipped away and the Coyotes lost for the fourth straight time this season.

After a scoreless first quarter, UNO scored first after a Coyote turnover. Troy Severson kicked a 21-yard field goal at the 8:32 mark of the first quarter. After USD lost the ball at its own five-yard line, the defense stopped UNO on two rushing plays and forced an incomplete pass.

The Coyotes tied the game with 1:45 to play in the half on a career-best 46-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Cody Butler. The scoring opportunity was set up when sophomore Wesley Beschorner returned a punt to the UNO 30-yard line. However, USD was unable to move the ball.

In the first half, South Dakota gave up 171 yards in total offense on 34 plays, including 114 yards rushing on 26 carries by Nebraska-Omaha ball carriers. But the Coyotes were outstanding when it mattered the most and that is when the UNO offense penetrated USD territory.

Despite numerous ventures into Coyote territory, the Mavericks only score was a field goal in the second quarter. UNO's first three-drives moved into USD territory but not one of them resulted in a score.

First, Troy Severson missed a 27-yard field goal after the Mavericks had moved the ball 81 yards in 10 plays. Then after moving to the Coyotes 13-yard yard line, quarterback Brian Masek was picked off by USD's Derick Jelks in the end zone. Jelks brought the ball out to the 20-yard line. A third UNO drive also ended in USD territory.

Aside from Jelks' interception, the Coyotes had two quarterback sacks in the opening half. On offense, USD generated just 43 yards on 21 plays of total offense. USD had just 18 yards rushing on 13 carries and had 25 yards passing. Senior quarterback Ryan Justice was five for eight with one interception.

UNO opened up a 10-3 lead on a one-yard run by Trey Guidry in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks moved the ball 72 yards in 10 plays, scoring with 2:33 left in the third quarter.

After recovering a UNO fumble, USD moved the ball 57 yards on 10 plays with Davon Hudspeth scoring on a two-yard run with 8:51 to play. Hudspeth, who had 34 yards rushing, had runs of six, nine and 11 yards on the drive. On UNO's winning scoring drive, Johnson had a 41-yard run to set up his seven-yard touchdown run. He scored with 6:42 to play.

UNO used 2:09 and moved the ball 65 yards in five plays. On the ensuing possession, USD moved the ball to the UNO seven-yard line where their attempt to tie the game was stopped by the UNO defense. McLaughlin completed passes of 34 and 15 yards to Brodus on the drive.

Overall, USD had 46 yards rushing on 24 attempts and passing for 138 yards. Hudspeth led USD's rushing attack

with 34 yards on 12 carries and quarterback Sean McLaughlin passed for 87 yards, completing 6 of 9 passes.

Brodus led the USD receivers with three catches for 55 yards. Matt Taylor had five receptions for 43 yards. South Dakota punter Jarrod Edelen had another solid game of kicking. He had six punts for 251 yards for a 41.8 average. He placed one kick inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 57 yards.

Defensively, Korey Ebel led USD with 12 tackles including one tackle for loss. Scott Lilland had 11 tackles and a tackle for loss while both Josh and Bill Gassen had eight tackles, both recording two tackles for loss.

Johnson ran for a career-high 162 yards on 26 carries to lead the UNO ground game. Johnnie Nolen had 97 yards on 23 carries as UNO totaled 338 yards rushing on 64 carries. UNO completed seven of 11 passes for 76 yards and one interception.

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