Turnovers, penalties haunt Statesmen in 37-7 loss
by Donell Maxie
Oct 28, 2012 | 1053 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Delta State Statesmen turned the ball over six times leading to 21 points for the University of West Alabama as the Tigers cruised to a 37-7 win over the Statesmen on homecoming day here at Parker Field-McCool Stadium on the campus of DSU.

The No. 15 ranked Tigers improved to 7-2 overall with a 4-0 mark in the Gulf South Conference and claimed a share of the GSC championship with the victory.

Delta State fell to 3-5 overall with a 1-3 GSC record.

West Alabama struck first with 3:34 remaining in the first quarter when Danny Hobbs scored from four yards out capping off a 14 play, 83-yard drive. Ryan Smith added the point after for a 7-0 West Alabama lead.

On the ensuing kickoff Delta State's Lavon Downs broke free for a 43-yard kickoff return to start at the Statesmen off at the 39-yard line. The Statesmen offense went to work converting two fourth downs on the drive, which led to a two-yard touchdown run from Trevor Wooden with 14:56 on the clock in the second quarter. D.J. Jarrin added the kick after for a 7-7 ball game.

The rest of the half was all West Alabama as they took a 24-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the third quarter Dakota Daniel caught a 21-yard pass from Kyle Caldwell, Smith kicked a 26-yard field goal and Chad Toocheck caught a 13-yard pass from Caldwell to inflate the score for UWA.

The Statesmen started the third quarter in great field position in Tigers' territory, but the drive went no where as the Statesmen turned the ball over on downs when Wooden was stopped short on a fourth down and short play.

The Statesmen defense came up big and forced a fumble on West Alabama's next play with DSU's defensive back Kenny Barnes recovering the ball to give it back to the offense. With the gift from the defense the Statesmen offense pushed the ball down the field behind the strong running of Rondreas Truesdale and Brant Botill. The combination proved lethal as the Statesmen got the ball to the 1-yard. The drive produced nothing as Wooden was stripped of the football and the UWA's Ridge Turner recovered the ball in the end zone.

The Statesmen defense was up to the challenge again as they forced a punt by the Tigers. The DSU offense, which struggled all day turned the ball over again with a fumble and the Tigers recovered.

With the turnover the Tigers took advantage as Hobbs culminated a four play, 45-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run with 1:26 left in the third quarter. Smith missed the kick after, but UWA led 30-7.

UWA added one more score with 5:02 remaining in the game as George Rowe scored from two-yards out. Smith added the kick after for a 37-7 game.

The Delta State offense was dreadful as they finished with 204 total yards of offense. In the first half the Statesmen had 74 total yards of offense. West Alabama finished the game with 459 total yards of offense.

Wooden finished the night completing 3-of-12 passes for 39 yards and with two interceptions. Wooden also rushed for 45 yards on 12 carries with the team's only touchdown. Spencer Van Brunt completed 3-of-7 passes for 42 yards with one interception. Eric Williams and Kenny Barnes led the defense with 11 tackles each.

West Alabama's offense was led Caldwelll who completed 11-of-18 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Gary Johnston completed 3-of-3 passes for 28 yards and also rushed for 110 yards on 17 carries. Hobbs had 71 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns and caught four passes for 80 yards. Toocheck caught four passes for 59 yards with one touchdown.

Ridge Wilson led the Tigers' defense with 11 tackles and a sack. Malcolm Butler, Turner and Otha Foster all recorded interceptions to aid the Tigers in the win.

The Statesmen will be back in action on Saturday at the University of Indianapolis. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will broadcast on the Statesmen Sports Network starting at 5 p.m.