MONTICELLO — The Arkansas-Monticello defense took center stage from the start during the Boll Weevil football team’s spring game on Friday at Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
On the first play of the game, defensive back Mike Early scooped up a fumble by running back Kendall Lambert of McGehee and took it 24 yards for a touchdown. That was just the start as the defense stole the show, even though the offense won 19-7.
“We worked hard all spring and coach told us we had to get to the ball and everyone had to be around the ball,” Early said. “Spring game, we are all together, but on the other hand, we go after each other’s heads.”
The Weevils’ defense played a physical brand of ball against their own teammates, and was part of the toughness UAM defensive coordinator Keith Scott wanted to see during the spring.
“I expected that, and (the hits) have been piling up ever since the beginning of spring,” he said. “I talked to them (Friday) that everything should double since it’s the last day of the spring.”
The offense was able to recover two possessions later. Freshman quarterback Jacob Lennox led the team for a 10-play, 80-yard drive, which ended in Lennox finding Jace Gandy in the back of the end zone for the score.
Two plays later, junior transfer quarterback Tyler Copeland found Watson Chapel graduate Sam Bass for 74-yard touchdown to give the offense a 13-7 lead in the first quarter. The UAM offense did not score again until the fourth quarter with about 3:30 left when Lennox scored on a 2-yard keeper.
After the game, the defensive domination could be seen all over Lennox’s body as he was limping and he didn’t move his right arm and let it hang down by his side.
“The defense brought the pressure all game,” Lennox said. “They did their job. But we still need to work on some things with the offense, get on the same page as the receivers and need to work on reading the defense.”
The UAM defense kept Lennox and Copeland moving around the whole game as it had seven sacks in the game.
“I think that goes back to that mentality of being tough, and what we are doing upfront is pretty nice,” Scott said. “We probably have one of the more talented defensive lines because they saw a lot of time as freshmen.”