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Wonder Boys Tangle With Weevils Saturday

Image of will have the play-by-play description. Arkansas Tech fell just short of its first winning streak of the season last Saturday in Thibodaux, La. Nicholls State University turned the Wonder Boys away from what could have been a go-ahead touchdown in the final four minutes and then blocked Tech’s try at a tying field goal. The NCAA Division I-Football Championship Subdivision Colonels tacked on a late touchdown to earn a 44-34 non-conference win over Arkansas Tech, but Tech head coach Raymond Monica came away pleased with his team’s effort. “The first thing I wanted our players to understand was how proud I was of the way they went down there and competed,” said Monica. “We had our opportunities to tie it or go ahead, but it wasn’t meant to be. I think that game gave us some confidence. Going into it, I felt like we would become a better football team by playing against a team of that caliber. I also felt like we grew as a team being on the road together for that length of time.” UA-Monticello (2-2, 2-2) has already eclipsed its win total from a year ago behind the fourth most prolific passing attack in the GAC. The Boll Weevils are averaging 293.2 passing yards per game. Colton Morrison and Cody Trimble split time at quarterback for UAM. “We know (UAM) will be in the spread offense,” said Monica. “They are going to throw the football around and try to spread our defense out. It comes back to us making plays in space.” One way for the Wonder Boys to keep the football away from the improved Boll Weevil offense is to utilize their own improved rushing attack. Arkansas Tech is averaging 191.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks fourth in the GAC. Tailback Ketrich Harmon has rushed for more than 100 yards in both of the last two games. He carried 10 times for 182 yards against Nicholls and is averaging 93.2 rushing yards per game, fourth-most in the GAC this season. Harmon is the first Wonder Boy to top the century mark in rushing yardage in consecutive games since R.J. Vanhook had 152 rushing yards against Catawba College (N.C.) and 156 rushing yards against Albany State University (Ga.) in the 2004 NCAA Division II Playoffs. “I think the offensive line is coming together more and more with each passing week,” said Monica. “There’s no question that the way Harmon has been running the football has been a big plus for us. I’m very proud of the way those young guys on the offensive line are developing. We are starting two freshmen up there (left tackle Ian Shuttleworth and center Derrik Fisher), and they’ve helped a great deal.” Arkansas Tech defeated UAM 24-21 in Russellville last season. The Wonder Boys’ most recent win in Monticello was a 30-25 triumph in 2010. Tech is 42-24-3 all-time against the Boll Weevils. The Wonder Boys have won 11 of the last 14 meetings between the two programs. Saturday’s game at Monticello marks the end of three consecutive contests on the road for Arkansas Tech. The Wonder Boys will return home on Saturday, Oct. 12, for a GAC game against Southern Arkansas University. Kickoff at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville is set for 6 p.m.]]>