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📰 BirdsUp - The First Season: Part 4

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EDITORS NOTE: This is the fourth installment of a story series looking back at the 2011 football season.


Prior to the arrival of UTSA football the annual homecoming game took place during the men's basketball season. The birth of a football program meant that homecoming would be moving to the fall.

In 2011 there would be two homecomings. The final basketball homecoming took place on Saturday February 5 when the Roadrunners beat Lamar 70-64.

Seven months later the first football homecoming was scheduled for September 24. The Roadrunners would welcome the Bacone College Warriors to the Alamodome. Bacone College, located in Muskogee, Oklahoma, entered the week of September 24 having beaten the Haskell Institute, 65-7 a week earlier. The Warriors were members of the National Assocation of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a level below NCAA Division III.

Bacone played football in the Central States Football League. The Warriors had first played football from 1895 to 1957. They did not play between 1958-2000 and resumed football in 2001. Just seven years after playing UTSA, Bacone ended their football program a second time in 2018.

On September 24, even as Bacone came to town with a 1-3 record it was apparent that the Roadrunners were not taking the Warriors lightly. They had learned many lessons from their previous two games.

"I don't see how anybody could be overconfident when we have lost two in a row," UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker said on the Monday before the Bacone Game. "They are 1-3 but they have some players."

As UTSA fans took part in the events of Homecoming weekend leading up to the game the players and coaches prepared to face Bacone. Everyone in San Antonio were hoping the Roadrunners would win. It was one thing to lose to a Division III school, it would be an even worse thing to lose to an NAIA team in the inaugural football homecoming game.

When the Roadrunners and Warriors took the field in the Alamodome a little before 1 p.m. on September 24, 2011 they did so in front of a crowd of 33,517.

The crowd that made their way to the Alamodome for homecoming did so in hopes that the results would be more like the fast start on September 3 and less like the sluggish performance on September 10.

Bacone won the coin toss and deferred their option to the second half. UTSA would be first with the ball. The first three drives for the Roadrunner offense did not give a lot of hope to the fans in attendance. UTSA punted on their first drive and fumbled on their second drive.

Fortunately for the Roadrunners the defense was able to stymie Bacone on their first two drives.

On UTSA's third offensive drive the Roadrunners had to punt. The Warriors muffed the punt at their own 11 yard line. Nic Johnston recovered the fumble at the Bacone seven to set UTSA up with first and goal.

It took one play for the Roadrunners to cover those seven yards. On first and goal Eric Soza kept it himself and ran in to give UTSA the first touchdown of the day. Sean Ianno added the extra point. There was 4:48 left in the first quarter. UTSA lead 7-0.

Bacone went three-and-out on their next possession. Just two and a half minutes after scoring, the Roadrunner offense was back on the field. They would still be on offense when the first quarter ended. Those in attendance had no idea of the show to come in the second quarter.

The second quarter began with UTSA's offense at the Bacone one yard line. David Glasco II picked up that one yard and Ianno added an extra point. UTSA led 14-0 with 14:56 left in the quarter. It was the first points UTSA had scored in a second quarter since the first game when Ianno kicked a field goal at the end of the first half.

It wouldn't be the last points scored by the Roadrunners in the second quarter against Bacone.

UTSA had the ball back just a minute and a half after scoring. After Soza was sacked on first down and threw an incompletion the Roadrunners faced a third and 18 from their own 37. On third and 18 Soza and Brandon Freeman connected on a pass that covered the 63 yards between the Roadrunners and the endzone. It was at the time the longest scoring play in school history. Ianno added the extra point and UTSA led 21-0 with 12:26 left in the quarter.

More Roadrunner history followed on the ensuing Bacone possession. On third and nine from the Bacone 41, the Warrior quarterback's pass was intercepted by Steven Kurfehs at the Bacone 45. Kurfehs had nothing but open field in front of him and scored the first pick-six in UTSA history. There was 10:26 left in the second quarter and UTSA led 28-0.

"I wasn't completely expecting it," Kurfehs said after the game. "I caught it, took off running and hoped no one would catch me."

The Kurfehs pick-six seemed to break the spirit of the Warriors. Ianno added two field goals before the second quarter ended to give UTSA a 41-0 lead at halftime.

Ianno kicked two more field goals in the third quarter to give UTSA a 47-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. By that point the second string were in for UTSA. Backup quarterback John Simmons threw an 18-yard touchdown to Mike Wilburn with 11:33 left in the fourth quarter. UTSA led 54-0 and looked to be on their way to their first shutout in team history.

The first shutout would have to wait. Bacone scored by way of a 71-yard passing touchdown on their next drive. With 9:11 left in the fourth quarter the score was UTSA 54, Bacone 7. That became the final score when the clock ran out on the game.

"This was a great win for us," Coker said after the game. "We needed it."

One month into their football experience and the Roadrunners were 2-2. The second month would see more firsts for the program. First up would be the Roadrunners first road trip in Texas and first game against a ranked opponent. That was still a week away.

For the time being the Roadrunners and their fans could celebrate a win in the first homecoming football game.

UTSA Homecoming Games through the years

NEXT WEEK: The Roadrunners make their first Texas road trip

FORUMS: UTSA Boulevard | Roadrunner Way

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