Football drops first Sun Belt game

Dakota Ratley

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A hungry Warhawk defense was not enough to overcome an even hungrier Arkansas State Red Wolves team in the Oct. 4 meeting between the universities.

The Warhawk defense kept the game scoreless until nearly halfway through the third quarter in part because of a pair of Arkansas State turnovers. 

These turnovers were negated when, in turn, the offense gave the ball back deep in the Red Wolves’ territory.

ULM took a 0-0 score into the half, while they were outgained by the Red Wolves by a 224-66 yard margin.

The score stayed deadlocked until ASU’s Fredi Knighten ran in for a 3-yard touchdown with around nine minutes left in the third. A 68-yard scamper from ASU running back Michael Gordon set up Knighten for the score.

A ULM stalled drive gave the Red Wolves back the ball at their own 20. ASU capped off an 11 play, 80-yard drive with a Fredi Knighten passing touchdown to bring the score to 14-0.

Safety Justin Backus gave the Warhawks the momentum by picking off a Fredi Knighten pass, giving the Warhawks their third takeaway of the day.

ULM would immediately capitalize as quarterback Pete Thomas connected with Ajalen Holley on the very next play for a 59-yard score.

The momentum was short-lived, as ASU answered ULM right back on a 29-yard dash from Fredi Knighten.

That score put the Warhawks in a position to need to score. However, the Red Wolves’ defense held the Warhawks on four straight plays to take over on the ULM 22.

Fredi Knighten would record yet another score on a 12-yard rush to put the game out of reach of the Warhawks.

Brayle Brown completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Kenzee Jackson to bring the final score to 14-28 in favor of the Red Wolves.

Head Coach Todd Berry said both sides of the ball needed work.

“We couldn’t get anything established in the run or pass game and then obviously all the explosive plays we gave up in the second half, which were mainly missed tackles. You know you can’t overcome that,” Berry said.

Arkansas State Head Coach Blake Anderson said stamina was a key part of the game.

“I thought that we were able to get their defense fatigues in the second half, especially late in the third and into the fourth which definitely made a big difference,” Anderson said.

This loss brought the Warhawks down to 2-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.