Defense Shines in Wonder Boys' 34-19 Win

Arkansas Tech head coach Steve Mullins said before the season opener that the Wonder Boys’ 2010 defense has a chance to be as good as any he has had in 14 years at Tech. That unit took a good first step toward proving him right on Thursday night.

The Wonder Boys held Lambuth to 212 yards of total offense — including just 11 rushing yards — as Arkansas Tech posted a 34-19 win over the Eagles at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.

Fittingly, the decisive play in the victory was recorded by the defense. It came with 3:27 remaining when RonDerrick Jackson (photographed) scooped up a fumble and returned it five yards for a touchdown. Matt Bahsoon added the extra point to set the final score of 34-19.

The Tech offense — which returns just four starters from a record-setting group in 2009 — had its share of highlights and its share of teachable moments.

The positives included two touchdown passes from quarterback Robert Sagerian and a 15-play, 70-yard drive that consumed 8:03 and resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by Cody Burns with 11:15 remaining.

The biggest negative was the fact that Arkansas Tech committed five turnovers — two interceptions and three lost fumbles.

Sagerian was 9-of-23 for 107 yards. He also rushed for 41 yards. Quarterback James Landry was 4-of-6 passing for 54 yards and he rushed 10 times for 35 yards.

Tech’s Roger Jackson made four receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown. Jarrod Martin had three catches for 61 yards.

Antonio Charles led the Wonder Boys’ defense with six tackles, including two for a loss and a quarterback sack.

Lambuth’s David Ingram completed 13-of-20 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Rod Jefferson had five receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles.

The Wonder Boys scored the first 13 points of the game and led throughout, but a series of missed scoring chances kept Lambuth in the game. Tech was just 3-of-7 in red zone scoring opportunities.

The win marked the seventh consecutive year in which the Wonder Boys have started 1-0. It was also Tech’s eighth consecutive home victory dating back to Oct. 25, 2008.

Arkansas Tech (1-0) will play its first road game of the season on Thursday, Sept. 9, when it faces Delta State in Cleveland, Miss. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.