Nebraska-Omaha wins first MIAA game

The Nebraska Omaha Mavericks used a balanced attack to beat the Emporia State Hornets 41-20 on Saturday night at Caniglia Field. The win was the first for the Mavericks in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and it improved their record to 2-0.
The Mavericks got 114 yards and two rushing touchdowns from Brian McNeill and three more touchdowns from quarterback Zach Miller.   UNO scored on its first seven possessions.
The Mavericks jumped quickly to the lead. McNeill capped off a 61-yard, game-opening drive by squeaking over from two yards out to put UNO up 7-0. It was the first rushing touchdown allowed by Emporia State in more than two games.
After a three-and-out by the Hornets, the Mavericks’ offense went back to work. It took just 51 seconds before Miller hit Keith Eloi with a 9-yard pass. With less than six minutes gone in the game, UNO led 14-0.
The Hornets got their feet under them on the next drive. Starting on their own 30 yard line, quarterback Andre Sloan El guided his team down the field, challenging UNO with a spread offense. Adrian Abner finished the drive, busting in from two yards out to make it 14-7.
UNO’s Greg Zuerlein tacked on a pair of field goals in the second quarter, one from 40 yards, to boost the Mavericks’ lead to 20-7.
UNO would then get the ball back with just 2:24 remaining in the half. From their own 40, Miller threw the ball six times with Mike Higgins hauling in the last pass for a 23-yard touchdown.
UNO outgained the Hornets 271-131 in the first half and led 27-7.
McNeill would score again from 7 yards out on a 33-yard drive that was set up by a 29-yard punt return from Troy Kush.
Emporia State went to the air on its second possession in the third, marching 80 yards and scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sloan El to Danny McEvoy. The Hornets trailed 34-14.
Miller ran one in from 12 yards out on an efficient 8-play, 68-yard drive that lasted just 3:20. UNO led 41-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Sloan El would toss a 15-yard pass to Tracy Hageman for the final score of the game. The Hornets’ PAT failed.
Miller finished with a career-high 19 completions on 27 attempts, good for 225 yards and two touchdown passes. UNO dominated the clock, holding the ball for nearly 36 minutes. The Mavericks had 210 yards of offense on the ground to go with 239 passing yards.
UNO plays its first road game of the season next Saturday. The Mavericks will visit Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo. Kick-off is 6:00 p.m. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.