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UTSA rallies past Old Dominion on Saturday

The Roadrunners notched their first win in three tries against the Monarchs on Saturday, using some fourth-quarter magic to get it done.
Credit: Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
UTSA QB Lowell Narcisse rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown and passed for 90 yards in a 45-14 loss to Texas A&M on Nov. 2 in College Station.

SAN ANTONIO — Lowell Narcisse engineered a pair of second-half scoring drives that took nearly 11 minutes off the clock and Clarence Hicks forced a fumble on a sack with 1:13 left to play to help UTSA rally from a 13-point deficit for a 24-23 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday at Ballard Stadium.

The Roadrunners trailed 23-10 early in the fourth quarter but touchdowns by Sincere McCormick, who rushed for 137 yards on 23 carries, and Carlos Strickland II on an 11-yard pass from Narcisse with 2:41 remaining led UTSA — 4-5 overall and 3-2 in Conference USA play — to its first win in three tries against the Monarchs (1-9, 0-6).

Needing a field goal or touchdown to go ahead, ODU had second down at its own 41-yard line, but Hicks came from behind Monarchs quarterback Hayden Wolff and knocked away the ball, which was recovered by Jarrod Carter-McLin with 1:28 on the clock to seal the Roadrunners’ third win in their last five outings.

Narcisse enjoyed his best passing performance in a UTSA uniform, as the sophomore quarterback completed 18 of 23 passes for 240 yards to go along with 29 rushing yards.

Narcisse’s favorite target was Zakhari Franklin, who hauled in six passes for 134 yards, the third-most receiving yards by a Roadrunner and the most since Greg Campbell’s school-record 186 in the 2018 season finale. The freshman’s career day was highlighted by a 65-yard reception in the first quarter, the longest play from scrimmage for UTSA this season, which helped set up Hunter Duplessis for a 22-yard field goal.

Meanwhile, McCormick registered the second 100-yard game and two-TD showing of his true freshman campaign to lead a ground attack that rushed for 179 yards.

McCormick broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown dash to cap the game’s opening possession and help stake UTSA to a 7-0 lead.

ODU got on the board on a 29-yard field goal by Nick Rice with 6:22 left in the opening frame, before Duplessis answered with his only field goal of the day to make it 10-7. 

The Monarchs took their first lead on a trick play TD pass late in the first. Wolff threw a lateral toward the right sideline to Steven Williams, who then launched a long pass to Isaiah Spencer for a 42-yard scoring connection.

ODU went up by seven points when Wolff hit Aaron Moore on a 58-yard touchdown pass early in the second stanza, and then increased its advantage to 20-10 on a 37-yard field goal by Rice with 4:34 left until halftime.

Rice split the uprights from 36 yards late in the third to push the lead to 23-10, setting up the UTSA comeback. 

UTSA’s first fourth-quarter TD came on a 2-yard plunge by McCormick with 12:54 left to play. That drive covered 85 yards in 11 plays and took 4:56 off the clock. The tailback from Converse Judson now has 747 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs in his rookie campaign, one behind Jalen Rhodes’ program mark of nine set in 2016.

The Roadrunners’ go-ahead score came on the 11-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Narcisse to Strickland on the final snap of a 14-play, 78-yard march that chewed 6:50 off the clock.

Andrew Martel led the defense with eight tackles (seven solo), one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry, while Clayton Johnson posted six stops. Carl Austin III had five tackles, including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage, and Hicks also had five stops, including his key strip-sack in the final minutes.

The Roadrunners will return home to host Southern Miss next Saturday, Nov. 16. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN+ and Ticket 760.