The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Penalties strip points, sour homecoming celebration

Katherine Babin

Close games can be made or broken by penalties, but ULM’s latest defeat to Arkansas State argues to be the most extreme example.

A punt return for a touchdown, a deep ball caught for a touchdown and a blocked punt all received the yellow flag that wiped these three scores off the board. ULM’s (2-6; 0-5 Sun Belt Conference) penalty woes cumulated in its sixth defeat in as many games, falling 34-24 to Arkansas State (4-4; 2-2 SBC) on Saturday’s homecoming game.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had three touchdowns called back,” ULM coach Terry Bowden said. “Three. 21 points. It happened so fast, you don’t even realize that it happened.”

While the losing skid on the season continues, ULM’s losing streak to Arkansas State also grows longer. Saturday’s meeting is the 14th straight game that the Red Wolves have bested ULM in a streak that goes back to 2010.

Freshman quarterback Blake Murphy accepted his first starting role with the team a week after his debut, taking over the role held by Jiya Wright for much of the season. Murphy’s two touchdowns and 300 yards passing kept the score competitive through three quarters, but the Red Wolves went on a 17-point run in the fourth, putting distance between them and the Warhawks.

“That was just disappointing,” Bowden said. “They went out and won the game, and we didn’t. They went out and did what they had to do to win the game in the fourth quarter, and we did not.”

Arkansas State’s defense prevented ULM from finding the end zone in the first half. Derek McCormick went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, but the Warhawks entered the locker room on the short side of the 10-9 halftime score.

ULM took the opening drive of the second half 75 yards for an eventual touchdown. Tight end Nolan Quinlan bobbled but eventually brought in the pass from 32 yards away in the back of the end zone. The touchdown put ULM up 16-10, but Arkansas State stole the momentum offensively on the ensuing drives.

Just over five minutes later, the Red Wolves scored the first of three touchdowns in the second half. Before the clock hit two minutes remaining, Arkansas State added 24-straight points to the stat sheet. 

A late touchdown pass from Murphy to NyNy Davis brought the game within two possessions, but this score with 22 seconds remaining proved to be the last of the night.

ULM’s next game in the Sun Belt gauntlet takes place in Hattiesburg, Mississippi against Southern Miss (1-7; 0-5 SBC) on Saturday.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hawkeye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *