Back-to-back wins are in the book for the University of Arkansas at Monticello as the Boll Weevils out-gained Southern Nazarene University nearly 2:1 Saturday, Oct. 13 for a 35-12 Great American Conference win.
Senior running back Imani Riley rushed for 149 yards, his fifth-career 100-yard day, to pace UAM to 289 yards rushing and 425 total yards, while the Weevils’ defense held Southern Nazarene to 201 total yards.
UAM opened the game with a 12-play, 74-yard drive to get on the board on a 1-yard Cole Sears touchdown run. While SNU answered with a Jacob Spady 1-yard touchdown, the Weevils held the Crimson Storm on the 2-point try with Carlos Anguiano fumbling on the play.
Sears connected with C.J. Parham for a 44-yard touchdown reception and the longest play of the game to put UAM up 14-6 with 1:38 to play in the quarter. The touchdown pass was Sears’ 62nd of his career, good for second-most in the UAM record book, ahead of Kevin McCarn (1997-2000).
The Weevils made it 21-6 at the half with a 3-yard touchdown run by Deontae Haynes. UAM gained all 46 yards on the drive with a 10 rushing plays. SNU quarterback Gage Porter marched the Crimson Storm down to the Weevils’ 15 before fumbling. Ja’lon Watts recovered for UAM before halftime.
Midway through the third quarter, Trenton Smith intercepted a Sears pass at the SNU 41. After crossing midfield, Porter was faced with a third-and-4, on which he found a gap for a 41-yard touchdown run. The 2-point pass failed, keeping UAM in front by nine, 21-12, with 2:55 to play in the third.
Porter broke a 56-yard run early in the fourth quarter, but the play was negated by an illegal formation and the Weevils defense went on to force a punt. Following the punt, Riley went to work again, racking up 37 yards on his first three touches to move UAM to the Southern Nazarene 20. Alex Day Capped the drive four plays later with a 3-yard touchdown run.
UAM forced a punt once again and capped the day with a 4-minute drive to stretch its lead to 35-12 with 1:50 to play. This time it was Ivan King tossing a 3-yard touchdown to Parham for the score. Josh Marini connected on his fifth extra point kick of the day to round out the scoring.
Sears finished the day with 133 yards on 8-of-14 passing to move past Cory Allred into third place on the UAM all-time passing yards list with 7,179 career yards.
Day collected a career-high 75 yards on 11 carries in the win, while Riley’s 147 yards pushed him past 1,500 career yards with 1,510.
Porter collected 106 yards rushing on 12 carries to lead SNU and had no positive passing yards. Nate Walker had 67 yards on 10 rushes.
Gabe Brace led the UAM defense with six solo tackles. Trenton Smith had 13 stops and Dylan Meador had 10 tackles for SNU (1-6).
Arkansas-Monticello (3-4) will return home Saturday, Oct. 20 to host Oklahoma Baptist University (2-5) on Homecoming. Kickoff is 3 p.m. During the game, UAM will recognize the 1988 and 1993 football teams for their 30-year and 25-year reunions, respectively. Homecoming week will also include the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Oct. 18 and an alumni golf tournament on Oct. 19.