The University of Arkansas Monticello football team outgained East Central in total offense, but committed five turnovers leading to a 46-22 loss for the Boll Weevils on Saturday at Norris Field in the 2013 season opener.
The Tigers (1-0, 1-0 Great American Conference) used a 19-point second quarter to create a deficit that proved too large to overcome. Prior to ECU’s 19 second-quarter points, UAM brought the score to within four points on a 23-yard field goal by freshman Jamie McGee at the 4:20 mark of the first quarter and a safety by way of junior linebacker Alex Black on ECU’s ensuing possession 10 seconds later.
Following a UAM interception on the next possession, the Tigers responded with a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Spencer Bond to allow ECU to take a 14-5 lead at the 2:30 mark of the first quarter. McGee opened the second-quarter scoring with a 24-yard field goal at the 13:43 mark to pull UAM to within six points at 14-8.
ECU responded with two touchdowns, a field goal and a safety, all unanswered, to account for its 19 second-quarter points to take a 31-8 into the locker room at the halftime break.
UAM (0-1, 0-1 GAC) outscored ECU 14-13 in the second half, all points coming in the third quarter, starting with an eight-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Colton Morrison to sophomore Cody Bordelon to cap a seven-play, 44-yard drive at the 11:13 mark to trim ECU’s lead to 33-15.
The Tigers answered with a six-play, 43-yard drive capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Bond to Lindsey Anderson, giving ECU a 40-15 lead with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter.
UAM’s final score of the night came on a two-yard touchdown rush from junior Rod Smith at the 7:14 mark of the third quarter to cap a four-play, 19-yarddrive that was set up by a 58-yard kickoff return by junior Mike Early and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty assessed to ECU.
ECU capped the scoring with 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown by Quamain Black.
UAM finished the night with 349 yards of total offense to ECU’s 297. The Weevils had 326 yards passing and 23 yards rushing on 32 attempts. ECU collected 224 rushing yards, led by JoJo Snell’s 101 yards on 16 carries, all in the first half.
Morrison finished his UAM debut 38-of-55 through the air with 241 yards with one touchdown pass and three interceptions. Sophomore Cody Trimble went 3-for-9 in relief with 85 yards and one interception.
UAM’s favorite target in the passing game in the loss to ECU was Bordelon, who finished with a career-high 12 receptions for 128 yards, including his eight-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter, UAM’s first touchdown of the 2013 season.
Junior Ian Levine added seven receptions for 65 yards, while sophomore TreyTaylor had seven catches for 42 yards.
McGee was perfect in his UAM debut, going 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points.
Defensively, the Weevils were led by junior Keith Reynolds, who collected six tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and two pass deflections in his first game in the Green and White.
The Weevils return to Monticello for the next two contests, starting next Saturday, September 14 against Southeastern Oklahoma State for Parent and Family Appreciation Day. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. Southeastern defeated Southern Arkansas 56-50 this past Thursday night in Durant, Okla.