MONTICELLO — Henderson State took advantage of four Arkansas-Monticello turnovers in the first quarter as the Reddies spoiled UAM’s final home game of the season thanks to a 37-21 win over the Boll Weevils Saturday at Willis “Convoy” Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium.
HSU (9-0, 8-0 Great American Conference) picked off four passes in the first quarter, which lead to 24 straight points for the Reddies.
“The game plan was exactly what we needed but at times, we just didn’t execute,” UAM head coach Hud Jackson said. “When we got a chance to catch balls, we got to catch them.
“It is disappointing. You take that first quarter away (and maybe we have a shot).”
HSU’s Christian Love intercepted UAM (5-4, 4-4) starting quarterback Cody Trimble on the Weevils’ first possession. Two plays later, running back Daniel McCoy scored on a 43-yard run for a touchdown. It gave the Reddies a 7-0 lead with 13:41 left in the first quarter.
On the following possession, HSU freshman Gary Vines intercepted Trimble and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown to give the Reddies a 14-0 lead with 10:59 left in the first quarter.
“Obviously, I did not have the start I would have liked,” Trimble said. “Three interceptions on the first three series, but that’s on me.
“We can’t have that obviously, especially against the No. 4 team in the nation. You can’t spot them 17 points.”
Chris King intercepted Trimble for UAM’s third turnover in the first quarter. It led to a 39-yard field goal by senior Charles Gonsalvez, which gave HSU a 17-0 lead with 8:14 left in the first quarter.
Gonsalvez also made a 33-yard field goal and a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter to give HSU a 30-0 lead with 6:24 left in the first half.
UAM quarterback Colton Morrison was subbed in to try to spark a bit of offense for the Weevils but on his second time out, HSU’s Zack Richardson intercepted him. Richardson returned it 36 yards and the Reddies later capitalized with a 5-yard touchdown run by McCoy.
McCoy finished with 93 yards on 16 carries with the two touchdowns.
“It is hard to come back from that,” said Trimble, who finished the day 23-of-41 for 182 yards with three interceptions. “I thought our defense played great against that offense.
“I thought they had terrible field position all day and I thought they did a good job of holding their own.”
After the first quarter — and especially in the second half — UAM was able to shut down Henderson’s offense. The Weevils held the Reddies to just 76 yards of offense in the second half with just seven points.
“Our defense did a tremendous job,” Jackson said. “346 yards, that’s a bad day for Henderson.
“… Our defense shut them down in the second half. There’s no moral victory, not in my eyes, but the fact that they played as well as they did.
“I’m very disappointed for our players.”
The Reddies entered Saturday averaging 55 points a game and about 427 passing yards a game. It was the first time this season in which Henderson did not put up at least 40 points.
“We had some big sacks and we put a lot of pressure on their quarterback,” Jackson said. “His throws weren’t as good as they needed to be because of the pressure that was being applied to him.
“I thought our defensive guys did a tremendous job.”
Junior Keith Reynolds led UAM with 12 total tackles, while junior defensive end Louis Curry had 10 total tackles with two sacks. As a team, UAM had four sacks and seven tackles for loss on Saturday.
“They played really well,” Jackson said. “Every time they went out, I had confidence that they would make plays.
“It was a good night for those guys.”
UAM finally got on the board right before halftime thanks to sophomore Demarcus Robinson who returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown. HSU led UAM 30-7 at halftime.
Sophomore Nick Williams scored two touchdowns — both on 1-yard dives into the end zone. His second one trimmed HSU’s lead to 37-21 with 1:58 left in the game.
Williams finished the game with 87 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns.
“I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job,” Jackson said. “That (Glennon) Bobo is a force and for him to only have one tackle means you are doing something right.”
UAM will face Ouachita Baptist at Arkadelphia next week and wrap up the regular season against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia in two weeks.
No field goals for Jamie
For the first time this season, freshman kicker Jamie McGee did not attempt a field goal — missing his average of two made field goals a game.
He is 16-of-18 on field goal attempts this season and is now the UAM single-season record holder in made field goals.
In the third quarter against HSU, McGee made a 36-yard field goal but a penalty on Henderson gave UAM a first down — negating the points.
He did connect on all three of his extra point attempts.