Daryl Richardson got the scoring started with a 12-yard run off right tackle with 11:54 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats' second drive of the game took 1:18 and only four plays, and consumed 80 yards. Morgan Lineberry's successful PAT put ACU on top, 7-0. Key play in the drive was a Mitchell Gale pass that Taylor Gabriel caught in the right flat and ran with for 42 yards.
Tomas Rebold of Incarnate Word kicked a 20-yard field goal with 5:53 left in the quarter to pull the Cardinals within four points, 7-3.
ACU's next drive advanced to the UIW 14-yard line. Gale's pass on fourth down and 4 was batted down, and the Cardinals took over. Three plays later, Wildcat linebacker L.B. Suggs intercepted Eric Massoni's pass at the UIW 24-yard line with just 34 seconds remaining in the quarter.