CARROLLTON, Ga. - The West Georgia Wolves' first foray in Gulf South Conference play in the 2017 season ended on Saturday afternoon with the Wolves having a sour taste in their mouths following a 17-7 loss to 24th-ranked Delta State at McCool Stadium in Cleveland, Miss.
How it Happened:
The game opened with both defenses stopping the opposing offense on the first drives of the contest. Delta State drew first blood in their second drive of the game, going 75 yards in 16 plays, using 4:41 on the clock to take a 3-0 lead on a Vince Scioroatta field goal with 7:30 left on the clock in the first quarter.
After the two teams exchanged punts, the Wolves took over at their own 26 yard line, and Willie Candler got the UWG offense going. On the drive, the Wolves took eight plays and four minutes to drive 74 yards for the score. Travis Custis had several big runs on the drive, including the scoring play, an eight-yard pound in to give the Wolves a 6-3 lead. Trey Wiggins converted the extra point, giving the Wolves a 7-3 lead with 13:50 left in the 2nd quarter.
For the remainder of the quarter, it was a defensive battle until the final second prior to the half, as Delta State capped a 60-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room at the break. Willie Candler was 10-for-19 for 93 yards in the half, completing three passes to Shaq Roland for 42 yards. Travis Custis and Devontae Jackson each had seven carries in the half for 21 yards and Custis had the only touchdown for the Wolves.
In the third quarter, Delta State took advantage of tempo with their offense, as the Statesmen held the ball for the bulk of the period. Neither team scored on the first drive, similar to the first part of the game. West Georgia had an opportunity after a bad punt, but an interception in the end zone from Delta State kept the Wolves out of the end zone. Delta State then mounted a nine-play, 47-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown run from Chris Robinson to give the Statesmen a 17-7 lead in the game.
The Wolves missed on an opportunity in the fourth quarter, driving the ball inside the DSU10, but then a sack forced a 34-yard field goal attempt. Trey Wiggins missed that, his first missed field goal of the season. Tyler Jack blocked a Delta State field goal in the fourth quarter as well to keep Delta State with just 17 points in that period.
Candler mounted one final drive, going 8-for-8 for 73 yards until he was intercepted by Ovenson Cledenord at the DSU10. The Statesmen took a knee to run out the clock and complete the game.
West Georgia falls to 2-1 on the year and 0-1 in Gulf South Conference play, while Delta State moves to 3-0 and 1-0 in league play. The Wolves will host the annual Homecoming game next Saturday afternoon at University Stadium, taking on Albany State at 2 p.m.