December 5, 2020

Wolves Reclaim Peach Basket

(Carrollton, GA/uwgsports.com) — For the first time in 17 years the University of West Georgia football team knocked off in-state rival Valdosta State in front of the UWG faithful at home by a final score of 49-28 on Saturday afternoon at University Stadium, reclaiming the Peach Basket.

The win is the first over VSU in University Stadium history and moves the Wolves to 6-0 for the first time since 2000.

Lamarcus Franks and Dallas Dickey were phenomenal on offense as West Georgia powered their way past 21st-ranked VSU. Franks rushed for 172 yards and also threw for 28 yards and a touchdown while Dickey was 16-for-23 for 237 yards and three scores.

West Georgia’s defense held the Blazers in check most of the day, forcing three turnovers including a pair of interceptions.

On the first possession of the game, West Georgia went 75 yards on nine plays to open up a 7-0 lead on the Blazers. Wil Garrett got the scoring started with his third rushing touchdown of the season, this one from five yards out.

Also on the drive, senior wideout Shaq Hall became the 14th receiver in school history to record 1,000 receiving yards.

Valdosta State answered right back with a scoring drive of their own, going 61 yards over five plays, capped with a 15-yard Cedric O’Neal.

It was Wil Garrett again that provided the scoring for West Georgia on the next possession. The Wolves used LaMarcus Franks and the rushing attack to drive down to the VSU 14-yard line before Garrett found David Dupaty on a jump pass for a touchdown.

Garrett would then find Alex Armah in the endzone for a two-point conversion giving the Wolves the 15-7 lead at the 4:31 mark in the first quarter.

Photo: uwgsports.com

Photo: uwgsports.com

After the two teams traded punts, Valdosta State and Cedric O’Neal found the endzone again, this time from three yards out, bringing the Blazers within one.

VSU would then force a turnover as Dallas Dickey’s pass was deflected and fell into the hands of a defensive lineman.

Six plays later, E.J. Hilliard found Dallas Baldner for an eight yard score, and gave VSU their first lead of the day at 21-15 with 7:39 left in the half.

The Wolves wasted no time in responding as UWG drove 83 yards on seven plays for another touchdown. This time it was Dallas Dickey finding Shaq Hall over the middle for a 14-yard score. After the PAT, West Georgia would reclaim a 22-21 lead with 4:05 left in the half.

UWG would then turn a VSU turnover into points as the Wolves pounced on a fumble and took over at their own 41-yard line with just 57 seconds left. West Georgia would drive down and Hunter Heck would connect on a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give West Georgia a 25-21 lead at halftime.

Valdosta State’s opening drive of the second half was ruined by Gabe Freeman who intercepted the Hilliard pass and gave UWG the ball at their own 46-yard line. It took the Wolves just three plays to score as a LaMarcus Franksfound Devontae Jackson for a 28-yard trick play touchdown.

The next VSU drive would have the same fate, but this time it was Laronji Vason who picked off the Hilliard pass giving West Georgia the ball back. It took just one play for West Georgia to capitalize as Dickey hit Qa Walker for a 46 yard touchdown, giving the Wolves the 39-21 lead with 10:08 left in the third quarter.

After the UWG defense forced a three-and-out by the VSU offense, the Wolves would add their third score of the quarter with a 25-yard score from Dallas Dickey to JaNardreon Jones.

VSU got the first score of the final quarter on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Roland Rivers to Chris Anderson to make the score 46-28 in favor of the Wolves.

At the 7:47 mark in the fourth quarter, Hunter Heck added his second field goal of the day, this one from 23 yards out. With the two field goals, Heck remains perfect on the season, making all eight of his field goal attempts.

Five different players scored receiving touchdowns on Saturday with Shaq Hall leading the way in terms of yardage with 66. Qa Walker was great again on Saturday with two catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, West Georgia was led by Alex Armah, Marion Chapman, and Gabe Freeman with eight tackles while Freeman also had an interception. Dylan Donahue was dangerous in VSU’s backfield racking up two and a half sacks on the day.

West Georgia travels to Cleveland, Miss. next weekend as they take on the Delta State Statesmen in Gulf South Conference action. The Wolves and Statesmen are scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m.

For up to date news on all University of West Georgia sports visit www.uwgsports.com.

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