Commercial Press Services
NATCHITOCHES, La. — The Arkansas-Monticello football team allowed Northwestern State to escape with a 31-24 victory on Saturday at Turpin Stadium.
The Demons (1-1) reached the scoreboard first on UAM’s first offensive possession of the game. Northwestern State’s Imoa Claiborne intercepted a Hunter Leppert pass at the UAM 28-yard line and returned it for a touchdown with 13:54 remaining in the opening quarter.
NSU grabbed a two-score lead later in the opening quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by Sidney Riley to cap a seven-play, 47-yard drive that used just 2:01.
UAM (1-1) cut its deficit to just one touchdown at the 7:02 mark of the first quarter on a 60-yard catch-and-run pass from Hunter Leppert to Jamal Nixon to cap a six-play, 74-yard drive.
The Demons took a 17-7 lead later in the quarter following a drive that lost 17 yards. John Shaughnessy connected on a 47-yard field goal at the 3:37 mark of the quarter.
UAM answered on the ensuing kickoff with an 82-yard return for a touchdown by senior Blake Prince to cap the first quarter scoring.
The only score of the second quarter came from the leg of UAM sophomore kicker Reagan Wise, who nailed a 22-yard field goal.
UAM senior quarterback Damon Wicker gave UAM a 24-17 lead on a 22-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-two play at the 10:59 mark of the third quarter.
The Demons’ defense came through again on UAM’s next offensive possession to force a 24-all tie. Cortez Paige picked off a tipped pass from Leppert and returned it 52 yards for the score.
The Demons scored the go-ahead and eventual game-winning touchdown with 5:41 remaining in regulation on a 25-yard scoring run by Daniel Taylor.
Leppert finished the game 18-of-35 through the air with one touchdown and three interceptions. The Minden, La. native was also UAM’s leading rusher with 56 yards on 16 attempts. Leppert’s favorite target in the game was Nixon, who hauled in eight passes for 96 yards with one touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Alex Black paced the UAM defense with nine tackles, including a half sack and one tackle for a loss.