Central Arkansas earns share of Southland title, 52-35

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- - Breylin Smith passed for 296 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions, and Central Arkansas earned a share of the Southland Conference title with a 52-35 win over Incarnate Word on Friday night.

Central Arkansas (9-3, 7-2) shares the title with Nicholls, which beat Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday night. Nicholls earned the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs due to beating Central Arkansas 34-14 on Oct. 5. The Bears, ranked 11th in the STATS FCS Top 25, are in line for an at-large berth.

The Bears never trailed, but the Cardinals (5-7, 4-5) closed a 17-point deficit to 31-28 on Jon Copeland's 8-yard TD keeper with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Central Arkansas scored two touchdowns to extend the lead to 45-28 and the teams traded touchdowns in the final three minutes.

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Tyler Hudson had nine catches for 161 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears.

Copeland threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals.

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