The Arkansas-Monticello football team was an inch or two from picking up its first Great American Conference win of the season and the first road victory of Hud Jackson’s two-year tenure with the Boll Weevils.
Trailing 24-21 and with 15 seconds left to Arkansas Tech, quarterback Damon Wicker was forced to scramble on third-and-goal and leaped toward the end. The ball did not cross the goal line, Wicker was hit and the ball was fumbled into the end zone and Arkansas Tech recovered it for the win.
There were a good amount of positives to take out of the game. Wicker was 34-of-46 passing for 408 yards and three touchdown, and he only threw one interception after throwing seven in the previous two games.
“He made some really good choices and he had three or four passes that he threw away instead of forcing them,” Jackson said. “I thought Damon did a much better job.”
Jamal Nixon had 14 catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns and the UAM defense held Arkansas Tech to 269 yards of total offense.
“We put it all together, we just didn’t get the win,” Jackson said. “Our guys do feel good about our play. Of course, there can be improvements.”
One major mistake came on Arkansas Tech’s first score of the game on a blocked punt return for a touchdown.
“That blocked put and two punt returns, those were huge,” Jackson said. “If you look at the statistics, you would say UAM won. You win every statistical category, so something else has to affect it.”
The Boll Weevils(1-7, 0-6 GAC) have to move on after another loss, though, and hosts Southeastern Oklahoma State (3-4, 1-4) today.
Once again, Jackson and the team are holding out hope of getting that first conference victory of the season and snap a six-game losing streak.
“Just got to keep working like we always do,” Jackson said. “Our guys know how to bounce back. Sitting at 1-7 right now and we just need to get a win for our players and coaches.”
After a 1-4 start to the season, Southeastern Oklahoma State has rattled off two straight wins over Northwestern Oklahoma State (31-6) and Southwestern Oklahoma State (26-16).
“They have been playing good of late,” Jackson said. “Been watching them the entire year and they have a good quarterback and they are sounds. They have a lot of things going for them.”
Jercolby Bradley is Savage Storm quarterback and he has been a dual-threat for them. He has rushed for a team-leading 607 yards and has five touchdowns. He has also passed for 1,194 yards and seven touchdowns, but he has completed just 53.5 percent of his passes and has thrown four interceptions.
“Been watching tape on him since the first conference game and you can tell he is an athletic guy,” Jackson said. “If he has an alley, he is going to take it. He will make his reads, but after the second or third one, he is going to take it and run.”
The key to today’s game for the Boll Weevils — play like they did against Arkansas Tech.
“We need the team that showed up this past Saturday to show up this week,” Jackson said.