The University of Arkansas at Monticello defeated Arkansas Tech University in overtime, 26-23, Thursday night at home when Josh Marini drilled the game-winning field goal from 23-yards out.
In what was a very back-and-forth game, UAM toppled Tech after a huge interception in the endzone by Kerenzo Credit to set up the game-winning drive.
Devontae Dean ran the ball to pick up a big first down on the ensuing drive. ATU made a stop on the following series of plays, setting up fourth down and a chance for Marini.
After a bobbled snap, Marini hung in to drill the game-winner and help UAM pick up its first win of 2019.
Arkansas Tech led at the end of the first quarter, 10-7. The Wonder Boys got scoring started after a 31-yard touchdown run on a drive that went seven plays for 62 yards.
Arkansas-Monticello responded with a touchdown later in the first. Caleb Canady hooked up with C.J. Parham for a 45-yard TD pass, knotting the game up, 7-7.
ATU took a 10-7 lead to conclude the quarter after Jesus Zizumbo hit a 35-yard field goal.
In the second, neither team gained an edge until the final minutes of the half. The Wonder Boys looked like they were going to take a 17-7 lead into the break as Tanner Gaines punched the ball into the endzone with 1:22 remaining.
However, UAM responded to take the momentum into the break after a big drive. On the sixth play of a 56-second drive, Canady threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Washington. Marini hit the extra point and ATU took a 17-14 lead into the intermission.
UAM outscored ATU, 9-3, in the third quarter. The Boll Weevils did register a touchdown and a field goal in the quarter. Marini hit a 24-yard field goal, and later, Dean punched in a 14-yard run, and the extra point was blocked. UAM still took a 23-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth turned out to be a defensive showcase. Arkansas-Monticello held ATU to just three points in the final quarter as Zizumbo hit a 47-yarder to tie it up, setting up both teams to head to overtime.
After UAM won the OT coin toss, allowing ATU to get the ball first, the Boll Weevils made the biggest stop of the night. On third and five, Manny Harris threw a ball to the endzone that Credit came down with to set up the game-winning drive.
On fourth and one, Marini hit the game-winner, sending the UAM faithful home happy.
KEY TEAM STATS
UAM held ATU to 143 yards in the air
UAM passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns
KEY INDIVIDUAL STATS
Canady – 19-for-35, 287 Yards, 2 TD’s
Dean – 21 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD
Parham – 8 receptions, 164 yards, 1 TD
Washington – 2 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD
Marini – 8 punts for 52 yards (35.9 average), 2-for-2 field goals (24-yards, 23-yards).
Christian Jefferson – 12 T, 1.5 TFL, Forced Fumble, 1 pass breakup
Credit – Interception
Easton Seidl and Brandon Young, 1 sack each
The Boll Weevils will travel to Searcy for a Great American Conference matchup with Harding University. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.