The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team posted a season-high 273 rushing yards in a losing effort on Saturday, falling at home to Southeastern Oklahoma State by a final score of 41-35.
The Boll Weevils (1-8, 0-7 Great American Conference) stuck to the ground game throughout the contest, totaling 50 rushing attempts for 273 yards, led by senior quarterback Damon Wicker with 20 carries for 139 yards and one touchdown. Freshman Nick Williams added 94 yards on 19 carries.
It was UAM’s highest rushing total of the season, and the first time UAM had eclipsed the 250-yard mark rushing since last season’s win over Southeastern.
UAM made a key mistake on its first offensive drive for the second consecutive week with a Damon Wicker pass intercepted by Southeastern’s Jacobi Crowley and returned 42 yards for a touchdown to put UAM down 7-0 at the 13:21 mark of the first quarter with its defense yet to step onto the field.
The Savage Storm (4-4, 2-4 GAC) went up 14-0 later in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Don Brown at the 6:31 mark to cap a nine-play, 57-yard drive that used 3:26.
UAM responded with a pair of touchdowns early in the second quarter to knot the game at 14-all with a 38-yard touchdown run by Nick Williams at the 10:46 mark followed on the next possession by a 12-yard scoring run by Wicker at the 8:47 mark.
Southeastern closed out the first half with a pair of touchdowns to take a 28-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. SOSU’s Ladarius Abrams reached the end zone from one yard out at the 3:02 mark to cap the Savage Storm’s longest drive of the game at 13 plays, 75-yards, using just over six minutes. Don Brown notched his second rushing touchdown with 15 seconds remaining in the half from one yard out to cap an eight-play, 34-yard drive that used 2:28.
UAM recorded the only points of the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Williams at the 8:48 mark to cap a nine-play, 57-yard drive that used 4:12.
Southeastern scored its final points with a pair of touchdowns in the first five minutes of the final period with an 89-yard touchdown pass from Nick Sioson to Keelen Green on a third down and three situation with 12:58 remaining in regulation. Then at the 10:06 mark, Sioson found Quentin Morris for a 29-yard strike, followed by an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt due to a bad snap to put the Savage Storm up 41-21.
UAM closed out the game’s scoring with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Wicker to freshman Trey Taylor with 8:19 remaining following a successful fake punt play that featured a completed pass from UAM punter Reagan Wise to Clifton Price.
The Boll Weevils trimmed the deficit to one score on a two-yard scoring run by Nick Williams at the 5:14 mark.
On Southeastern’s final drive, UAM stopped the Savage Storm on a third-and-five situation at the SOSU 29-yard line, but a personal foul penalty against UAM kept the Southeastern drive alive. The Savage Storm was able to run out the clock due to a successful third-down conversion with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
UAM posted 448 yards of total offense, which also included a 9-of-15 combined passing performance for 175 yards. Wicker was 8-of-14 for 150 yards. Junior Jamal Nixon’s was UAM’s favorite target with four catches for 66 yards.
Southeastern balanced its offensive attack with a total of 482 yards – 249 passing and 233 rushing. Southeastern quarterback Nick Sioson completed 14-of-17 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Ladarius Abrams led the SOSU rushing attack with 19 carries for a net of 107 yards. Keelen Green was the top receiver for SOSU with four catches for 111 yards.
Defensively, UAM was led by sophomore Alex Black and sophomore Anthony Hughes with nine tackles each. Emmanuel Jackson and Coby Ragsdale led the Savage Storm with seven tackles each.
UAM is back in action next Saturday, November 3 for the final road trip of the 2012 season against Southwestern Oklahoma State. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. from Fast Lane Field in Weatherford, Okla.