2-6 UWA readies for HSU Reddies

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

LIVINGSTON- Following a loss in its final home game of the season last Saturday, The University of West Alabama Tiger football team (2-7, 0-7 GSC) is looking to regroup when it travels to Arkadelphia, Ark, this Saturday to play Henderson State (2-7, 1-6 GSC) in the GSC TV Game of the Week. The Tigers were defeated 23-13 by Southern Arkansas, while the Reddies were beaten 38-12 at home against West Georgia.

“These are two teams that are, no doubt, very hungry for a win,” said UWA Head Coach Sam McCorkle. “I am very proud of our football team. To be as young as they are and to be put in as many adverse situations as they have been, they have never given up. We are definitely looking forward to again taking our Teenage Tigers on the road for another tough GSC matchup.”

On the season, the Tigers are being outscored by their opponents 138-77 in the first half, while bouncing back and outscoring their opponents 92-74 in the second half. Averaging 304.3 total yards of offense in 2005, the team will look to start quickly this week against a Reddie defense that is allowing 391.2 yards of total offense per game.

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Running back Jerin Wright and quarterback James Reiter continue to lead a rushing attack for UWA this season that is averaging 156.3 rushing yards per game. Wright has carried the ball 127 times for a team-high 452 yards and four touchdowns. Reiter is close behind with 109 carries for 415 yards, including a team-best five rushing touchdowns. The offense is facing a HSU defense that is allowing 157.9 rushing yards per outing.

Through the air, Reiter leads the way, completing 57-of-136 pass attempts for 1,106 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Chris Coach leads the Tigers with four of those touchdown grabs on the strength of his 25 catches for 633 yards this season. Junior Andre Epps follows with 20 catches for 349 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tiger defense will have to slow down a Henderson State offense that is averaging 366.6 yards of total offense each time out in 2005. Most of the damage is done through the air, as senior Dane King has completed 224-of-399 pass attempts this season for 2,286 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Reddies have two receivers with over 30 catches on the season and four others with 20 or more catches. Junior wide receiver Marques Clark leads the way with his 38 catches for 559 yards and a team-best four touchdown receptions. Freshman Garrett Manning follows with 34 catches for 375 yards and two touchdowns.

On the ground, HSU is only averaging 97.3 yards rushing this season and have scored only seven rushing touchdowns. They are facing a Tiger defense that is allowing 198.9 yards rushing per game on the year. Freshman Bernard Palmer leads the rushing attack for the Reddies, rushing 145 times for 531 yards and four touchdowns. Arthur Burnett is next with 24 rushes for 125 yards, while King has scored the other three rushing touchdowns this season.

Defensively, the Tigers are led by Lewis Thompson’s 67 total tackles (37 solo and 30 assisted). Kidane McBride is next with 59 total tackles (28 solo and 31 assisted), including nine tackles for a loss. Donny Powe leads the defense with three sacks, while senior Richard Bevill has recorded a team-best five interceptions.

Jabrayl Ward and Charles Green lead the Reddie defense with 49 total tackles apiece, while Adrian Ivory has a team-high 10.5 tackles for a loss and a team-high four sacks. Four players are tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

“HSU is a big, athletic football team that will be very tough to move the football against,” closed McCorkle. “They have one of the best passing attacks in the GSC complete with one of the best throwing quarterbacks around. Marques Clark is a great receiver that is a threat to go deep on any play. What we have to focus on is eliminating the mistakes that have killed us week after week.”

The Tigers and Reddies are set to square off in Carpenter-Haywood Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 6:00 p.m. All of the exciting action can be heard on WZNJ FM-106.5 (Demopolis), and can be seen live on MediaCom Channel 8 in Livingston.