MONTICELLO — Arkansas-Monticello got a huge monkey off its back Saturday night when it knocked off Southeast Oklahoma State 42-34 at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
“Going into this game, you could tell our guys were feeling a little pressure,” UAM head coach Hud Jackson said. “They just felt like a win tonight, would do great things for us.
“It was very intense and our guys played hard.”
The win over Southeastern snaps an 11-game losing streak for the Weevils that dates back to Week 2 of last season.
“All that came out too,” Jackson said. “A lot of emotions. There were a lot of guys crying and coaches crying.
“I can’t even put a gauge on it on how out of control our emotions were. It is unreal.”
A 66-yard touchdown pass from Colton Morrison to Skylar Scott with 13:59 left in the fourth quarter gave UAM (1-1, 1-0 Great American Conference) its final lead of the game.
“They always say the biggest improvements are from Week 1 to Week 2, and that fit Colton perfectly,” Jackson said. “I was just very impressed with Colton. He had tremendous poise and finally got the feel for the long ball.
“I’m just glad that the improvement showed. … But I’m very proud of him.”
After throwing three interceptions in last week’s loss, Morrison finished 25-of-36 with 345 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
“I’m very proud of Colton,” Jackson said. “His family was here from California so that was great too.
“I think there are going to be some great things from him as the year goes on.”
Morrison sealed the win when he completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Nixon with 4:51 left in the game.
Scott led UAM with eight catches with 165 yards and three touchdowns.
“This was a big home win and we have been waiting for a win for a minute,” Scott said. “It feels good. It feels real good. I can’t even understand this feeling, but we have been waiting on this for a minute.
“And to do it at home is real good.”
Nixon finished the game with seven catches and 151 yards and two touchdowns. After leading UAM with 12 catches last week, Cody Bordelon had just four catches with 22 yards.
Scott, who had just two touchdown catches last year, said he is really looking forward to being more of a threat this season.
“I can just imagine what we can do if I play a whole game or season,” Scott said. “It is going to be big. It could turn out pretty good for us.”
Defensively, UAM had its back against the wall in the fourth quarter when a turnover gave Southeastern (1-1, 1-1 GAC) a first down inside the red zone with 7:36 left in the game.
With the Savage Storm facing a first-and-goal, UAM’s Alex Black forced running back Ladarius Abrams to fumble and Anthony Hughes was able to recover for the turnover.
“Turnovers that makes the difference,” Jackson said. “They laid the ball down six times and we only got one of them. But how big was it.
“The interceptions were big for us too obviously. Turnovers are going to be key and you got to win that battle and tonight it proved how important it is.”
The Storm threw three interceptions along with the one fumble lost. UAM just had the one turnover in the game.
“I am very impressed with how our defense caused some rushes and made some big hits and made some big plays when they needed them to,” Jackson said.
UAM took its first lead of the game when Rod Smith scored from 7-yards out. The extra point attempt failed but the Weevils had a 19-14 lead with 7:41 left n the first half.
Smith had seven carries with 13 yards.
Joevall Hoseay led UAM with three carries for 81 yards. Mike Early had two interceptions in the game, including one in the fourth quarter. Early also had seven solo tackles.
Last week, SOSU freshman Devlon Wortham had 220 yards with three touchdowns on 13 carries. On Saturday, UAM held him to 96 yards on 16 carries with no touchdowns. The Storm had only a 162 yards on the ground.
“For us to do that well rushing rise, I was very impressed,” Jackson said.
UAM will host Northwestern Oklahoma State University on next Saturday at 6 p.m.