The University of Arkansas at Monticello was unable to stop an early stampede by the 20th-ranked Harding Bison, falling 47-21 at home Saturday, Sept. 29.
Harding (4-1) scored on six of its first seven possessions to post a 24-0 lead after one quarter of play and extend it to 38-0 in the second quarter. The Bison special teams helped set up two of the HU touchdowns, forcing a fumble inside the 20 on the opening kickoff and blocking a punt late in the first quarter at the UAM 31.
Down 38-0, Weevils’ QB Cole Sears completed four passes for 58 yards to put UAM on the board, capping the seven-play, 78-yard drive with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Hampton with 4:53 to play in the first half.
Both teams were stopped on their next series, but a safety on a bad UAM punt snap stretched Harding’s lead to 40-7 at the half.
Sears went deep again to open play for the Weevils in the third quarter, connecting with DeAndre Washington for a 33-yard touchdown to make it 40-14.
While Harding moved the ball down field in response, it was time for Arkansas-Monticello’s special teams to respond. Jimel London blocked a 40-yard field goal try by Cameron Scott, who finished the day 1-for-3 on field goal tries, including a miss from 42 yards on the next series.
Both teams tacked on a touchdown in the fourth quarter – a 4-yard Harding TD run by Matt Fuller, followed by a 27-yard Hampton touchdown reception from Caleb Canady.
UAM turned the ball over twice in the second half, but neither resulted in points.
Sears finished the day with 171 yards on 12-of-27 passing, two touchdowns and one interception, with Canady completing 3-of-7 attempts for 64 yards. The 235 combined passing yards accounted for all by 60 yards of UAM’s total offense (295 yards).
Ja’lon Watts and Christian Jefferson led the UAM defense with eight tackles. Michael Jenkins recorded the only sack against Harding.
The Bison pieced together a 357-yard day on the ground, with five players gaining 50 or more yards. Jesse Honnas led the team with 75 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Preston Paden, who competed 2-of-4 passes for 49 yards, had 55 yards and one touchdown, Matt Fuller rushed three times for 54 yards and two TDs, while Cole Chancy also had a touchdown run.
As part of the game, the Weevils coaching staff participated in the AFCA’s annual Coach to Cure MD Day.
Arkansas-Monticello (1-4) travels to Russellville next Saturday, Oct. 6 for a 6 p.m. kickoff against Arkansas Tech.