Eastern New Mexico, which passes on nearly every down, scored on its second drive of the game when Wesley Wood hit Michael Matthews with an 8-yard TD pass with 8:38 left in the first quarter. A successful PAT by Taylor Cannon put the Greyhounds on top, 7-0. The four-play, 47-yard drive was set up after ENMU pinned ACU deep in its end of the field after a good defensive stand, and forced the Wildcats to punt.
ACU responded on its ensuing possession with an almost identical five-play, 57-yard drive. It ended successfully when Wildcat quarterback Mitchell Gale tossed a 10-yard TD pass to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, who caught the ball in the right flat and dove inside the goal-line pylon. Morgan Lineberry's PAT tied the game at 7-7 at the 5:54 mark.
The Wildcats were driving at mid-field when the quarter ended.