The Delta State University football team fell 38-20 to the University of West Georgia in the GSC-TV Live Game of the Week on Ray-Lin Field at University Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 14. The Wolves held the Statesmen to negative four yards rushing compared to its 328 yards on 58 carries.
West Georgia (6-5, 3-3 GSC) capitalized off of Delta State’s (7-3, 4-2 GSC) first offensive possession of game as redshirt-freshman Tim Foy was unable to gather in a lateral from Tyler Sullivan on the first play of the game. The Wolves then put together a six-play, 26-yard, drive that ended in a Quan Jones 4-yard scamper for a touchdown to go ahead 7-0 with 11:47 in the first quarter.
Sophomore defensive back Frankie Lee picked off an Austin Trainor pass to give the Statesmen offense back the ball at the DSU 16-yard line at the 06:03 mark. Sullivan shortly after connected with wide out Ricky Hunt for a 53-yard reception; Sullivan capped off the drive on the very next play with a 4-yard rush up the middle to even the score at 7-7 with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
The Wolves bounced back quickly on the ensuing drive, with a quick three-play, 80-yard drive that ended when Jones recorded his second rushing TD of the night to regain the lead 14-7 at the 3:38 mark.
The turnover bug struck Delta State again when UWG linebacker Alex Armah picked off Sullivan’s pass across the middle. The Wolves engineered seven-play, 34-yard drive to go ahead 21-7 with 34 seconds left in the first quarter; the drive was capped off by Jones’ third rushing touchdown of the quarter.
Lee recorded his second interception of the game at the 10:34 mark in the second quarter, but the Statesmen were unable to put points on the board and were forced to punt it away.
The Delta State defense forced West Georgia’s first punt of the contest and then engineered a five-play, 76-yard drive that culminated in a Ricky Hunt 42-yard TD reception to close the gap to 21-13 3:34 left in the first half of play.
West Georgia answered again offensively, however Delta State kept the Wolves out of the end zone and forced a Mark Bardenwerper 26-yard field goal to bring the score to 24-13 heading into the half.
West Georgia opened the second-half of play with offensive possession, with momentum on their side the Wolves began to march all the way down to the DSU 30-yard line. The Statesmen defense stood tall, and on fourth-and-ten Dallas Dickey threw down the sideline where Lee was waiting for his third interception of the game. The interception by Lee tied the school record for most interceptions in a game.
The Wolves stacked seven more points on the board with a Dickey three-yard touchdown run to make the score 31-13 with 5:54 in the third-quarter. The lengthy drive consisted of eight plays, 52 yards and used 4:01 of clock.
On third-and-one Dickey went around the left-end for the Wolves and raced 31 yards to extend the UWG lead out to 38-13 with 14:49 left in the fourth-quarter.
After being held scoreless in the third-quarter for the first time since North Alabama on Sept. 21, the Statesmen put together a eight-
play, 73-yard drive which ended with a Patrick Bethley 23-yard reception from Sullivan to bring the score to 38-20 with 6:29 left in the fourth-quarter.
The Statesmen attempted to close the gap even more, as senior Trenton Warren picked off a pass to give the DSU offense another opportunity to score. The offensive drive by the Statesmen fizzled out at the UWG 22 when Sullivan’s fourth-and-one pass fell short with 3:56 left in the contest.
Head Coach Todd Cooley wrapped up his first regular season at the helm of the Statesmen guiding the team to a 7-3 overall and 4-2 Gulf South Conference record.