Turnovers Allow Tigers to Top Wonder Boys

Two defensive touchdowns by West Alabama early in the fourth quarter sent the Tigers to a 49-26 Gulf South Conference win over the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys at Tiger Stadium in Livingston, Ala., on Saturday night.

The Tigers (6-2 overall, 4-1 GSC) led just 21-13 after three quarters, but that margin became much more comfortable for UWA after a 21-yard fumble recovery return for a touchdown by Brandon Walker and a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown by D’Eric Jackson.

Those scores gave the Tigers a 35-13 lead with 6:25 to go. Both teams added two late touchdowns to set the final score.

Arkansas Tech’s Rico Keller and Roger Jackson connected on their third touchdown pass of the game with 4:37 to go and Keller added a 10-yard touchdown run with 14.4 seconds left.

West Alabama’s Deon Williams threw his third and final touchdown pass of the night — a 21-yard strike to Antonio Hughes with 1:36 remaining — and Randy Lowery returned an on-side kick 38 yards for a touchdown to set the final score with 7.9 seconds left.

Keller completed 21-of-37 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, while Jackson made eight receptions for 126 yards and three scores.

Tavin Davis (16 carries, 67 yards), Keller (14 carries, 52 yards) and Scharvundrick Franklin (10 carries, 43 yards) helped Tech rush for 159 yards. The Wonder Boys had a season-high 442 yards of total offense, but Tech (3-5, 2-4) committed five turnovers compared to just one for the Tigers.

Williams completed 13-of-25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns for UWA. Gerald Worsham had five receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown.

West Alabama jumped out to a 14-0 lead with two one-play scoring drives in the first quarter. Tech climbed back into it on touchdown passes of nine and 32 yards from Keller to Jackson. A missed Arkansas Tech extra point allowed the Tigers to maintain a 14-13 edge at halftime.

The only scoring play of the third quarter was a 46-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Hughes. That gave UWA its 21-13 advantage going to the fourth quarter.

With the win, the Tigers remain just a half-game out of first place in the GSC standings with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Wonder Boys will return home to host nationally-ranked Valdosta State for a 2 p.m. GSC contest at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday, Oct. 30.