LAKE CHARLES, La. -- Cody Stroud threw two touchdown passes and McNeese State held on for a 30-22 win over Northwestern State Saturday night for the first Southland Conference win of the season for the Cowboys.
Stroud threw for 195 yards for the Cowboys (4-1, 1-1), who built a 17-0 halftime lead and hung on for the win despite a late rally.
Stroud threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to Josh Jordan and 43 yards to Diontae Spencer in the first half, and a 17-yard kick by Josh Lewis gave the Cowboys the 17-point halftime cushion. Trailing 30-14 after a Javaris Murray 18-yard touchdown run, the Demons fought back.
Brad Henderson hit Jovhan Jilbert for a 58-yard score with 5:58 to play to pull within eight points. Northwestern State (2-3, 0-1) then drove deep into Cowboys territory on its next possession, but Henderson was intercepted by McNeese State's Ford Smesny to end the threat.