UCO proves itself with win over Texas A&M-Commerce

Thursday, September 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Already it has been an up-and-down season for the Central Oklahoma football team.

The Division II Bronchos opened the season against Division I-AA Stephen F. Austin and lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 38-31.

In its next game, UCO played NAIA national champion Northwestern Oklahoma. It proved to be an even tougher contest, resulting in a 38-14 UCO loss.

But in their first conference game of the season, the Bronchos found balance Saturday and beat Texas A&M-Commerce, 24-7.

``It was obviously big for us to open up conference play with a win and we just want to keep doing good from here,'' said coach Gary Howard. ``It's pretty competitive in our league and we're all pretty close.''

Besides downing a conference foe, the Bronchos also ended a five-game losing streak dating to last season with the win Saturday. With that winless string now history, Howard said his team should be able to proceed with a fresh outlook.

``It (losing streak) added continued pressure to the competitors and coaches, the fact that we hadn't been able to turn it around and get a victory,'' Howard said. ``But now our expectations will be higher with the feeling that we can win when we do things right and compete hard. It puts a new lease on the situation as far as the upcoming games.''

The Bronchos continue their conference schedule Saturday against conference foe Eastern New Mexico.

In other Lone Star Conference action Saturday, Southeastern Oklahoma is at Tarleton State and East Central is at Abilene Christian.

In other small-college football action, Northeastern Oklahoma faces West Texas A&M, Langston is at Southern Nazarene, Northwestern Oklahoma is at Sioux Falls and Panhandle State plays Peru State.