The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team was taken down 56-43 by Great American Conference rival Southern Arkansas in the Battle of the Timberlands Saturday afternoon at Cotton Boll Stadium.
The Weevils (4-7, 4-7 GAC) were locked in a shoot-out against Southern Arkansas (9-2, 9-2 GAC) throughout the first half of play as the squads combined for 79 total points with SAU leading UAM, 43-36. The second half brought more of a defensive battle between these two rivals with minimal scoring throughout, but multiple forced interceptions by SAU created separation for the Muleriders allowing SAU to claim victory in the Battle of the Timberlands. Southern Arkansas forced an interception midway through the second quarter that was returned for a touchdown and picked off the Weevils late in the fourth quarter which sealed the game.
Final team statistics on the evening saw the Weevils with 512 total yards compared to the 668 total of SAU. The Muleriders led the match-up in overall time of possession as well with 36:09, compared to 23:51 of Arkansas-Monticello.
“Our players played hard and we had chances,” said head coach Hud Jackson. “I thought the second half was a different ball game from our defense. Hate it for our seniors — what a great group of guys — they have helped to give our program a direction that is positive. There’s lots to look forward to. Weevil football is moving in a way that has me really excited.”
Leading UAM offensively was sophomore running-back Imani Riley and junior wide-receiver Trevon Smith. Riley totaled 108 yards on nine carries in the game and added one rushing touchdown. Smith provided 133 receiving yards on four catches along with one receiving touchdown.
Junior Jalen Tolliver added two receiving touchdowns to the Weevil offensive effort also along with 51 yards.
Junior Ja’lon Watts anchored the Arkansas-Monticello defensive leading the Weevils with a game-high 15 tackles, four of which were for a loss. Senior Richard Lolohea tallied double-digit tackles on the day as well with 12 overall.
This was the finale contest for the Weevils in 2016 as UAM finishes with an overall record of 4-7 and a GAC record of 4-7.