Warhawks run away from Texas State in road win


A short week, a conference opponent and a road game were not enough to ground the Warhawks as the team went into San Marcos, Texas, and walked out with a 24-14 win.
“Anytime you win in this conference it’s tough,” ULM coach Matt Viator said. “But you go win on the road, in the short week and these circumstances, I’m really proud of our players and our coaches for putting it together in a short week and getting this done.”
The win kept the Warhawks undefeated in conference play at 2-0.
The 2-0 record against conference opponents puts ULM atop the Sun Belt Conference West division.
ULM will get an opportunity to continue their undefeated conference play next Saturday against Sun Belt conference east division Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina.
To stay undefeated in conference play, the Warhawks needed running back Josh Johnson who was the workhorse, rushing for over 100 yards for the fourth time this season.
Johnson also scored two of the Warhawks’ three touchdowns.
ULM came out firing on all cylinders to open the game, scoring on their first drive capped off by a one-yard rush by Johnson.
The defense kept the Warhawks ahead for the rest of the first quarter.
Constant pressure on the Bobcats quarterbacks and running backs kept the Warhawks ahead until an 11-play, 80-yard drive was capped off by another Johnson touchdown, this time from eight yards out.
The Bobcats would not go down quietly, following up ULM’s drive with one of their own going on a 12-play, 75 yard-drive.
A 34-yard Jared Porter field goal would be the final score of the first half, giving ULM a 10-point lead at the half.
Stagnation would be the theme of the second half for the offense as the Warhawks could not get anything in the third quarter, relying on the defense to keep the lead.
“On offense, we left too many drives out there. For the game to be 24-14, we left a lot out there. But we fought to be 2-0, and we know we’ve got more work to do,” Johnson said.
Defensively, Kerry Starks led the way with a breakout game, including three tackles for loss and two sacks.
“You have to give big ups to the defense,” Johnson said. “For them to come in and step up when we weren’t clicking was big. That’s how it needs to be on both sides of the ball.”
Even with the defensive success, Texas State would score again, this time on a 62-yard touchdown catch and run, cutting the Warhawks’ lead to just three.
“That could have really deflated us,” Viator said. “But our defense really kept us in it big time.”
The fourth quarter started slowly for the Warhawks who fought many injuries in the second half.
A fumble and injury for Johnson allowed for Austin Vaughn to save the day for the Warhawks’ offense.
On the game icing driving, Vaughn had all five of his carries and the deciding touchdown that put the Warhawks up 10.
The Bobcats would get the ball a final time but a Corey Straughter interception would end any comeback opportunity for Texas State.