By: Stephen Whitaker
For the Roadrunner seniors like Tight End David Morgan II and safety Mauricio Sanchez the reality that their last game would be on November 28 had set in when the team lost its seventh game on Halloween. That was the day that the Roadrunners fell out of bowl eligibility. On Saturday, the 17 members of the senior class had one more game against Middle Tennessee and then the rest of their lives to remember the good old days.
“It was really emotional, you’ve been with these guys for so long,” Morgan said. “They’ve been a big part of my life. It’s a lot of friendships.”
What transpired on Saturday is a memory that they might not re-live as much as the other days in orange and blue. UTSA fell in the season finale to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 42-7.
“They’re a good football team, we knew that going in,” UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker said of the Blue Raiders. “They were just a lot better than us today. We got beat and beat pretty good.”
For most of the first quarter the Roadrunners looked as though they would be able to hang with the Raiders. Then the Raiders scored on three straight possessions over the first and second quarter to take a 21-0 lead into halftime.
UTSA never could get much going offensively while the Raiders continued to click in the third quarter, scoring on their first drive of the half to go up 28-0.
Things got worse when Roadrunner quarterback Dalton Sturm threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted by the Raiders, then returned for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter. That play made the score 35-0.
The Blue Raiders added another touchdown in the fourth to go up 42-0 before UTSA finally got the offense going. The lone UTSA touchdown came with 6:33 left in the 4th when JaBryce Taylor made a one-handed snag and rolled 31 yards into the endzone. For the seniors it was a small victory in a game with nothing else to show for it.
“I was on the field when they took the knee and just watching the time tick down, it hit me,” Sanchez said. “I immediately went and hugged Drew (Douglas) and all the other seniors.”
The clock rolled down on the game and the season. For the Blue Raiders (7-5, 6-2 C-USA) there will be a bowl to play in December. Middle Tennessee will be headed to the Bahamas Bowl in Nassau on Christmas Eve. For the Roadrunners (3-9, 3-5 C-USA) there will be no bowl this year, the wait for the school’s first bowl will last until at least 2016. Despite the poor record the outgoing seniors have laid a foundation for the next players to build on. When the day that UTSA makes a bowl arrives it will mean so much to all those who have played for the school in its short history.
“I told the young guys this is your team now,” Sanchez said. “I feel like we left (the program) in good hands. The future is bright. I can’t wait to see what they do next year.”