UWA falls to Reddies
ARKADELPHIA, AR-In a game that featured several big plays from each team on both
sides of the football, the game came down to turnovers. The University of West Alabama Tiger football team (2-8, 0-8 GSC), in search of its first conference win of the season, committed four turnovers compared to just one by Henderson State, as they were defeated 35-13 by the Reddies (3-7, 2-6 GSC).
Things looked promising early on for the Tigers as the defense came up with a big play on Henderson State’s first possession of the game. The Reddies drove the ball down inside the Tiger 15-yard line when quarterback Dane King’s pass went off the hands of his receiver Marques Clark and was intercepted by Demarcus Thornton, who returned it out to the Tiger 22-yardline.
The Tigers would march the ball down to the Reddie 28-yardline before Mitch Warfield missed a 45-yard field goal attempt with 4:06 remaining in the opening quarter.
HSU looked to put points on the board on its ensuing possession when its offense took the ball and marched 48 yards down to the Tiger 24-yardline. On the second play of the second quarter, Bryan Woodard lined up for a 41-yard field goal attempt, but his kick hit the right upright, leaving the game scoreless.
The Tigers could not take advantage as they turned the ball over on downs. The Reddies then ran six plays before being forced to punt the ball back to UWA.
The Tigers had good field position to start the drive following the punt, beginning at their own 37-yardline. The offense went to its bag of tricks, as Rickie Sallie connected with Chris Coach on a halfback pass for a 49-yard touchdown strike, capping a four-play, 63-yard drive with 6:13 remaining before halftime. Mitch Warfield’s PAT was missed and the Tigers held onto a 6-0 advantage.
It wouldn’t take long for Henderson State to respond as Bernard Palmer rushed in from 18-yards out for the score, capping a six-play, 71-yard drive with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter.
The Reddies would score once more before intermission when Jason Santiago intercepted Matt Patterson’s pass and returned it 10 yards down to the Tiger 26-yardline. Three plays later, King connected with Marques Clark for an eight-yard touchdown strike. Woodard’s PAT gave HSU a 14-6 lead.
The Reddies nearly scored once again before the break, following another interception thrown by Patterson, with 28 seconds left. Woodard’s 41-yard field goal attempt, however, was wide left, and HSU held onto a 14-6 halftime lead.
The Reddies came out storming to begin the second half as they marched 65 yards for a touchdown, capped off by an Arthur Burnett one-yard touchdown run, and Woodard’s kick made it 21-6 with 11:17 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers pulled to within a touchdown with 4:07 remaining in the quarter when Jerin Wright scampered seven yards for a touchdown. Wright finished with 158 yards rushing, the 10th best rushing game in school history. Warfield’s PAT cut the deficit to 21-13.
The Tigers looked poised to score again when Tim Kelley blocked a Woodard punt attempt, which was recovered by Sheddrick Diggs and returned to the HSU 25-yard line. Two plays later, Patterson was intercepted by Santiago again, this time at the one-yard line.
The Reddies elected to go for it on fourth and one from just inside its own ten-yard line and was stopped by the tough Tiger defense.
The UWA offense marched it down to the Reddie five-yard line before Wright was tackled for a four-yard loss on third and goal. Warfield’s 26-yard field goal attempt missed wide left, and the Tigers failed to take advantage of the turnover, still trailing 21-13.
HSU extended its lead midway through the fourth quarter when King connected with Garrett Manning on a 24-yard touchdown pass. Woodard added the extra point, giving the Reddies a 28-13 advantage.
That is the way the score stood until King found Chase Meyers on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Woodard’s PAT extended the Reddies lead to 35-13.
Wright led the Tiger offense with his 158 yards rushing on 27 carries. Patterson finished 3-of-14 passing for only 62 yards, while throwing four interceptions. Coach caught three passes for 103 yards.
Bernard Palmer, who carried the ball 26 times for a game-high 191 yards, led HSU’s ground attack. King finished 22-of-29 passing for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Manning hauled in a game-high eight catches for 106 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers were lead by Terrance Campbell, who finished with 12 total tackles (eight solo and four assists). Lewis Thompson followed with 10 total tackles (four solo and six assists). James Gardner recorded two tackles for a loss for the Tigers, while Demarcus Thornton recorded an interception.
HSU was led defensively by Sam Carter who finished with 10 total tackles (one solo and nine assisted), while also recording two tackles for a loss and one sack. D.J. Papillion followed with nine total tackles (four solo and five assisted). Shane O’Neal added two sacks, while Jabrayl Ward and Divon Hughes added an interception apiece.
The Tigers take the field for the final time in 2005 when they travel to Florence, Ala., and meet up with North Alabama next Saturday night. Kickoff between the two teams is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. All of the exciting action can be heard on WZNJ FM-106.5 (Demopolis).