October 21, 2020

Wolves score big conference win

(Carrollton/uwgsports.com) — There was no shortage of excitement on Saturday afternoon as the West Georgia Wolves used a solid fourth quarter to pull away for a 37-23 victory over rival North Alabama at University Stadium.

West Georgia outscored the Lions 13-3 in the final quarter and had three of their four takeaways to pull away from a game that was tied 17-17 late in the third quarter.

UWG racked up 435 yards of total offense on the day and averaged 6.1 yards per play as the Wolves grabbed their first Gulf South Conference victory of the season.

The dynamic duo of Travis Custis and Devontae Jackson combined for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson’s two touchdowns came early in the game, while the Custis score was one for the ages that sparked the Wolves and the University Stadium crowd. Jackson, however, finished the game with 153 all-purpose yards, vaulting him to fifth all-time in all-purpose yards at UWG.

The Wolves struck first in the game, taking their opening drive to the house on eight plays, marching 75 yards. Shaq Roland had the big play, reeling in the throw from Willie Candler for a 42-yard gain, but it was Devontae Jackson who capped off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown rush putting the Wolves on top early.

Former Brave Trey Wiggins connects on a field goal in Saturday’s GSC win (Photo: West Georgia Wolves on Facebook)

UNA’s opening drive did not end that well, as Deandre Gardenhire got the UNA quarterback and forced the fumble, which the Wolves would recover at the eight, and punch it in two plays later on a five-yard score from Devontae Jackson.

On North Alabama’s next drive, the Lions would get on the board with a 33-yard field goal to make it a 14-3 UWG lead.

The second quarter was uneventful for the majority of the period until North Alabama added a touchdown with just over a minute to go in the half, cutting the West Georgia lead to 14-10.

But the Wolves weren’t done as they drove 58 yards in seven plays and 1:17 to add a 24-yard Trey Wiggins field goal as time expired, making it a seven point, 17-10 halftime lead.

Right out of the break, the Lions marched down the field for the game-tying score, capping off a 13 play, 77 yard drive with a 20 yard touchdown pass from Rico Bruton to Austin Hicks.

West Georgia responded, driving 66 yards to regain the lead as Candler found Taylor Turner for the 11-yard score, making it 24-17 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

UNA’s next drive would end in a 26-yard field goal, making it 24-20, UWG.

The Wolves would answer with a 23-yard field goal to stretch the lead back to seven. Shortly thereafter, Cam Magee would pick off Bruton that set up a run that will be remembered for years to come as Travis Custis hurdled a defender and took it 34 yards for the score, making it 34-20 with 12:05 left to play.

West Georgia’s defense would pick off Bruton again on the ensuing drive as Ramon Patton grabbed the errant pass for the third UWG takeaway of the contest. That would turn into another Trey Wiggins field goal as the Wolves stretched the lead to 17 at the 7:36 mark of the fourth quarter.

UNA would add three more late in the game, but UWG would get one more takeaway and kneel out the clock for the victory.

Candler finished 19-of-25 for 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His top targets were Shaq Roland and Emoni Williams who had four receptions each.

Defensively, UWG was led by Korie Rogers who had 12 tackles while Cam Magee finished with 10 and an interception. Up front, Deandre Gardenhire finished with six tackles and 1.5 sacks while Cordarro Stoute had seven tackles and a half of a sack. Devlyn Cousin had five tackles and a sack.

The Wolves remain home next week for their third consecutive home game as they host in-state rival Valdosta State in a 2 p.m. kickoff at Ra-Lin Field.

For up-to-date news and information on all University of West Georgia athletics visit www.uwgsports.com.

For more game photos visit West Georgia Wolves on Facebook.

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