Tech falls to No. 4 McNeese State

Arkansas Tech University (2-2) found itself unable to produce on both sides of the ball against No. 4 Division I Football Championship Subdivision McNeese State (2-1), as the Cowboys routed the Wonder Boys 61-7 at Louis Bonnette Field at Cowboy Stadium on Saturday night in Lake Charles, La..

Tech’s offense could only manage to gain 93 yards, while defensively the Wonder Boys gave up 478 yards to a Cowboy team whose only loss came in week one on a last second touchdown against Big Ten Conference football giant Nebraska to lose by a score.

“We knew going into the game that McNeese State was a very good football team that had been one play away from beating Nebraska,” head coach Raymond Monica said. “Now we’ll watch the film, correct our mistakes and not let them happen again.”

Wonder Boy sophomore Trevon Gooden was able to get an interception early in the first quarter, but the offense couldn’t churn out any points off the turnover.

McNeese then scored back-to-back touchdowns on their next two drives — first on an 11-yard passing score from junior quarterback Daniel Sams to junior David Bush, and then on a 13-yard run by junior Derrick Milton.

The Wonder Boys would not retaliate until the second half, but would give up a total of 38 points before the first half came to a close.

The Cowboys returned a fumble 17 yards for the score, punched in two short scoring runs and knocked through a 30-yard field goal all in the second quarter while Tech remained dormant.

Tech scored its only points at the opening of the third quarter after junior quarterback Curt Ceralde took over duties for junior starter Dennis Robertson. Ceralde hooked up with senior wide out Devin Pattern for a 20- yard touchdown.

Cutting the lead to 31 is as close at the Wonder Boys would come.

The remaining Cowboy scores came on freshman Alex Kjellsten’s 25-yard field goal, a 21-yard score through the air and a pair of runs from freshman Ryan Ross to close out the game.

Ceralde completed three of 11 of his passes, with 39 yards, a score and an interception. Kelton Smith led Tech in rushing, gaining 42 yards on eight attempts.

“What we have to do now is concentrate on ourselves and get ready for a Monticello team that’s been doing very well on offense and defense and has had a lot of real close football games,” Monica said.

Tech will return to Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field to take on Great American Conference opponent Arkansas at Monticello (1-3) on Saturday at 6 p.m.