The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team secured its first Great American Conference road victory since joining the league in 2011 with a 44-37 win over Southern Nazarene on Saturday.
After leading 16-9 at halftime, UAM (2-5, 2-5 GAC) won a second-half shootout with the Crimson Storm (0-8, 0-8 GAC) 28-21 in the second half to come away with the one-touchdown victory. With the win, the Weevils snapped a 22-game losing streak in games not played at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
Junior Trey Taylor was responsible for two touchdowns in the win, the second giving UAM its final advantage. Taylor hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Hunter Leppert with 7:27 remaining in regulation, the final score in the contest.
SNU fought back from a two-touchdown deficit with two quick scores early in the fourth quarter. The first came on a seven-yard touchdown run from Lorenzo Alexander to cut UAM’s lead to 37-30. Then, the Crimson Storm tied the game with 10:07 remaining on an eight-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Alec Laffoon after SNU picked off a Leppert pass inside the UAM 10-yard line. It was Leppert’s first interception of the season.
The Weevils opened the game’s scoring with a 10-play, 71-yard opening drive capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Brett Courville at the 11:45 mark of the opening period. Sophomore Jamie McGee’s extra point attempt missed right
SNU answered later in the first quarter and took a 7-6 lead on a two-yard touchdown rush by Lorenzo Alexander to cap a nine-play, 29-yard drive that was set up by a blocked punt.
Leppert was sacked in the end zone by SNU’s Jonathan Archie at the 11:28 mark of the second quarter to put the Crimson Storm up 9-6. UAM took a 13-9 lead with 3:30 remaining in the half on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Leppert to Ivory Washington to cap a seven-play, 71-yard drive.
Senior cornerback Mike Early hauled in his second interception of the game with just over two minutes remaining in the first half and returned it 34 yards to the SNU 11-yard line, but UAM’s offense stalled resulting in a 28-yard field goal by McGee to close the first half’s scoring.
SNU opened the second-half with a 90-yard scoring drive on eight plays, capped by a six-yard scoring rush by Lorenzo Alexander. That score tied the game 16-all at the 10:13 mark of the third period.
Junior Cody Bordelon put the Weevils back on top 23-16 with a 74-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown from the pass of Leppert, capping a three-play, 77-yard drive.
Trey Taylor helped UAM take a two-score lead on the Weevils’ next drive, catching a backward pass from Leppert and then throwing 34-yards downfield into the end zone to senior Deadrien Terry to cap a quick two-play, 53-yard drive.
SNU responded with a 17-yard touchown run by Alec Laffoon to cap a four-play, 52-yard drive. The Weevils got back on top by two scores on the ensuing possession, posting an 11-play, 65-yard drive capped by a one-yard score by senior Steven Richmond. That score finalized the third—quarter scoring, putting UAM up 37-23.
UAM finished the game with a 477-346 advantage in total offense. Leppert finished the game 20-for-37 for 323 yards with three touchdowns. UAM totaled 120 rushing yards in the win, led by Richmond’s 13 carries for 52 yards. Leppert finished with 10 carries for 31 yards, and freshman Jeremy Jackson added seven carries for 25 yards.
Leppert’s favorite target in the win was senior Ivory Washington, who hauled in six passes for 82 yards. Bordelon finished with three receptions for 103 yards. Taylor had three for 71, Terry had three for 65, and freshman Jalen Tolliver had three for 31.
Junior Andrew Jackson paced UAM’s defense with eight total tackles, including one quarterback sack. Seniors Alex Black and Keith Reynolds each added six tackles.
The Weevils are back in action next Saturday, November 1 at Henderson State for the team’s final road game of the season.