Roadrunners Race Past Lamar In Home Opener

Sheldon Jones returned a punt for a touchdown, Charles Wiley had a score on a fumble return and UTSA posted the first shutout and largest margin of victory in program history in a 54-0 rout of Lamar on Saturday night at the Alamodome.

The Roadrunners racked up 427 yards of offense and held the Cardinals (1-1) to 122 yards — the fewest yards allowed in school history — in racing out to their second straight 2-0 start to a season. UTSA’s 54-point margin of victory bettered the previous standard of 53 set in the 56-3 triumph over Northwestern Oklahoma State in 2012.

Jones registered the second punt return TD in school annals when he fielded the ball off one bounce and dashed 76 yards to paydirt to put UTSA on top just three minutes into the game. The New Orleans native now joins Kenny Harrison, who had a 79-yard punt return in the 2012 win over Texas State, as the only two Roadrunners to return a punt for a score.

Meanwhile, Wiley scooped up a loose ball in the second quarter and rambled 44 yards to the end zone to help push the home team’s lead to 27-0. The Stockbridge, Ga., native now owns the third longest fumble return in school history and the second longest that resulted in a score.

The UTSA offense was efficient through the air and on the ground. Starting quarterback Frank Harris completed 13 of 15 passes for 118 yards, while Josh Adkins came off the bench to throw for 134 yards and two TDs on 11-of-13 passing.

Sincere McCormick was the leading rusher with 46 yards on just seven carries, and the All-American reached the end zone twice to add another record to his resumé, as he now has 21 career rushing touchdowns. He had an 18-yard scoring dash in the second quarter and added a 6-yard scamper in the final minute of the first half that helped UTSA build a 34-0 lead at the break.

Joshua Cephus led all receivers with six catches for 51 yards, while Zakhari Franklin caught four passes for 77 yards and his second TD of the season on a 32-yard catch in the corner of the end zone from Adkins. Cade Stoever led all Roadrunners with 84 receiving yards on two receptions, including a career-long 60-yarder. De’Corian Clark added four catches for 38 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown reception from Adkins early in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, Clifford Chattman led the way with six tackles and a forced fumble, while Jamal Ligon and Avery Morris pitched in with five stops apiece.

Hunter Duplessis made three field goals for the second straight game, connecting from 46 yards twice in the opening frame and again from 41 yards to push the advantage to 44-0 midway through the third quarter. Everett Ornstein split the uprights for the first time in his UTSA career, making a 23-yarder with 4:58 remaining to provide the final 54-0 margin.

The Roadrunners will stay home to host Middle Tennessee (1-1) in the Conference USA opener next Saturday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Alamodome

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