Warhawks’ road woes persist in 45-28 loss

Jonah Bostick

The Warhawks continue to struggle on the road as they fall 45-28 against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State Saturday night. A kickoff return for a touchdown allowed in the third quarter decided the game.  

The Warhawks were going into the matchup riding the momentum from a 21-17 win over rival ULL, and they hoped to gain a stronghold on the West Division with a 2-0 start in conference play. 

Arkansas State drew first blood with a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback James Blackman to wide receiver Te’Vailance Hunt. This gave the Red Wolves a 7-0 lead. ULM answered with a 58-yard dime from quarterback Chandler Rogers to wide receiver Alred Luke to tie the game. The first quarter ended with the Red Wolves holding a 10-7 lead.

Maggie Eubanks

In the second quarter, Rogers threw his second touchdown pass to tight end Zach Rasmussen to give the Warhawks a 14-10 advantage. The Red Wolves then scored off a Brian Snead rushing touchdown to retake the lead. The Red Wolves retained the lead for the rest of the game. With 43 seconds to go in the first half, Arkansas State struck a painful blow with an 18-yard touchdown pass to running back Johnnie Lang to make it a 10-point game at the half. 

The second half saw the two teams trade touchdowns which included a Malik Jackson rushing touchdown. Right after the score, Arkansas State’s Lang returned the ensuing kickoff for 98 yards to put the Red Wolves up 38-21, killing any momentum that the Warhawks may have had.

“The kicking game hurts us,” head coach Terry Bowden said. “We’ve had struggles with our protection and our coverage. They are another team that hurt us not only with their returns but also with their coverage.” 

Rogers scored a 22-yard rushing touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game again. Arkansas State once again responded quickly with a Snead rushing touchdown, and the score remained the same for the rest of the game. 

“They had an answer to everything we did, they played better and they deserved to win,” Bowden said. “My hat’s off to them and we just had one of those games.” 

ULM was outgained 385 yards to 290 and had fewer yards passing with 138 yards to Arkansas State’s 254. The Warhawks also had fewer first downs having 18 first downs to the Red Wolves’ 22. Rogers would throw for 138 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

A massive stat for the Warhawks was penalties as they committed 10 of them for 105 yards. Arkansas State had nine penalties for 94 yards. 

“If you’re an underdog, trying to build a program and win close games, every single penalty hurts,” Bowden said. “We aren’t the kind of team that can have penalties and win.”

ULM now sits with a 1-1 conference record and a 2-3 record overall as they fall from first place to fifth place in the division standings. They aim to return to the win column as they host Coastal Carolina this Saturday.