MONTICELLO, Ark. – Arkansas-Monticello scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to defeat No. 4 Valdosta State 23-9 in non-conference football action at Cotton Boll Stadium Saturday evening.
The loss dropped Valdosta State to 4-1 while Arkansas-Monticello improved to 3-2.
The first Arkansas-Monticello touchdown game less than two minutes into the final quarter of play as Damon Wicker threw a 22 yard pass to Willie Landers. The touchdown capped off a 16-play, 85-yard drive that took 7:24 off the clock.
After being stopped on the VSU four yard line on its next drive, UAM recovered a fumble on the Blazer 20 to set up its next touchdown. Wicker tallied the score as he ran around left end raced untouched to the end zone for a 17-6 Boll Weevil lead.
After the two UAM touchdowns, Valdosta State closed back to within eight points with Andersen's third field goal of the game. The Blazers moved the ball to the Boll Weevil 6 on the drive, but a pair of incomplete passes and an intentional grounding flag on third down forced the 39-yard attempt with 4:45 to go.
The Boll Weevils took the ensuing kickoff and again marched down the field, with Greg Taylor scoring on a 27-yard run. The extra point was blocked to set the final score.
Arkansas-Monticello opened the scoring in the first quarter as it converted an Austen Roberts interception in Blazer territory into a 32-yard field goal by Ryan Crowley.
After seeing its offense struggle in the first quarter, during which the Blazers held the ball for just three minutes, Valdosta State tied the game with a 25-yard field goal by Daniel Andersen with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter.
VSU took the lead on the opening drive of the second quarter as Andersen added a 41-yard field goal. The Blazers moved the ball to the Boll Weevil 14 on the drive, before a 16-yard sack and a delay of game penalty back the ball up to the 35. Roberts found Tray Herndon for a 12-yard completion on third down to set up the Anderson field goal with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Valdosta State out-gained Arkansas-Monticello 347-333 in total yards in the game, but also accumulated 177 yards in penalties while turning the ball over five times. Roberts completed 21-of-40 passes for 227 yards while tossing four interceptions while David Bailey rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries. Chris Caspari led the defense with eight tackles.
UAM rushed for 185 yards in the game, led by Wicker with 72 yards rushing. Abraham Felton led the Boll Weevil defense with seven tackles.
Valdosta State returns to action next Saturday, October 8 when it travels to Arkadelphia, Ark. to face Ouachita Baptist for a 2:00 p.m. Eastern kickoff.