The No. 5 Bearkats (5-0, 5-0 Southland Conference) earned a share of the conference title at the time of their victory and clinched it outright when Incarnate Word loss to Northwestern State on Saturday night.
The loss ended the season for the Cowboys (3-4, 2-4) and snapped their streak of 15 straight winning seasons, which had been the longest active streak in FCS.
McNeese State opened the scoring with a field goal in the middle of the first quarter, and Sam Houston State answered with 27 straight points. Noah Smith caught a 19-yard TD pass from Schmid, Ramon Jefferson and Donovan Williams each had TD runs, and Seth Morgan kicked a pair of field goals.
McNeese cut the deficit to 27-13 and drove to a fourth-and-goal from the 3 with a chance to get within a score. But Cody Orgeron fumbled at the 1 on the quarterback draw, forced by Joseph Wallace and recovered by Jevon Leon in the end zone for the Bearkats with 5:08 left in the game.
Orgeron passed for 291 yards and a touchdown for McNeese State.
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