Oakdale native Darion Dunn continued his big year, intercepting a pair of passes in the first half to lead a strong McNeese State defensive effort that included three forced turnovers in the first half as the Cowboys raced out to a 17-point lead Saturday night against Alcorn State.
He broke up a pass on third down inside the red zone to help keep hope for a shutout alive. That ended with an Alcorn touchdown pass with 3:56 remaining.
Dunn's interceptions matched his total from last season and matched his career high, set last season against Houston Baptist.
"We practiced the same things all week, just doing what the coaches wanted us to do and just went out there and executed," Dunn said.
"We have been itching these first couple of games for some turnovers and finally started getting on a run tonight. It felt good getting two picks tonight, but at the end of the day we have to keep working and getting better for the next game."
Dunn said the interceptions were a result of good fortune and foresight.
"On the first one the guy was running a stop and go and I just stayed on top of him, the ball came straightto me," he said. "On the second one, the guy ran a curl route and I saw it coming. I just jumped it."
The Cowboys secondary held Alcorn to four completions in 12 first-half attempts.
Dunn went into the game as the team leader with two passes broken up. Against Oklahoma State last week, he had four tackles, broke up a pass and forced a fumble.
The first interception was marred by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after Dunn spiked the ball in celebration.
"I had no idea they even called a penalty until after halftime," he said. "It just slipped my mind not to do stuff like that. It won't happen again."
In its two victories, the Cowboys have forced eight turnovers.
Defeinsive lineman Cody Roscoe said Dunn set the tone for the defense.
"We have a bunch of playmakers," he said. "We see each other make a play and it makes us want to make one. I saw D. Dunn make a play and was like "I want to make the next one' I feel that pushes everyone to be better and more dominant up front."
Roscoe did get in on the play making, finishing with 1.5 sacks.