CARROLLTON, Ga. - The West Georgia Wolves, ranked third in NCAA Division II football, scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter at Robinson-Hale Stadium in Clinton, Mississippi on Saturday afternoon, moving to 9-0 on the season with a 36-21 victory over Mississippi College.  

Devontae Jackson (Wheeler) rushed 14 times for 104 yards to lead a 213-yard effort on the ground for the Wolves while the defense worked out a plan against the triple-option offense of the Choctaws. He surpassed 1,000 yards for the season in the game, marking the third time in his career that he has had 1,000 yards rushing in a season. It was also the 13th time that Jackson has rushed for 100 yards or more, tying a school record set by Nick Price in 2001. 

The game started in a strange way for the Wolves, as MC held the Wolves on three plays to force a punt. The Choctaws then went on a march into UWG territory, but the drive stalled to give the ball back to West Georgia. The Wolves then went on an eight-play, 80-yard drive fueled by Devontae Jackson. The senior running back had three carries for 44 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown run. 

With the 26-yard run, Jackson continued to expand his legend at West Georgia, as he went over 1,000 yards in a single season for the third time in his career. That marks the first time in school history that a UWG back has rushed for 1,000 yards three times. Earlier this season, Jackson became the all-time leader in both career rushing and career all-purpose yards. 

Mississippi College wasted little time in responding to the UWG touchdown, as a big run from quarterback Detric Hawthorn put the Choctaws deep into West Georgia territory. MC moved down to the UWG1, then needed three plays to push the ball across the goal line to tie the game on the first play of the second quarter. 

West Georgia came right back, using a 56-yard run from junior quarterback Willie Candler to put the Wolves deep into Choctaw territory, returning the favor from Hawthorn. Four plays later, Christian Royalston pounded his way into the end zone from three yards out to give West Georgia a 14-7 lead. But the Choctaws came right back, going on a 13-play, 75-yard march that ended with an 11-yard run from Ja'Mori Mark to tie the contest at 14-14. 

The Wolves scored once more in the half, as Omar Cervantes nailed a 50-yard field goal, the longest field goal at West Georgia since October 15, 2005, when Adi Brkic nailed a 51-yarder against Southern Arkansas. The field goal gave the Wolves a 17-14 lead heading into the locker room at the break. 

In the second half, the Choctaws opened the period with a touchdown drive, but on the ensuing kick, LaPerion Perry returned the kick into Mississippi College territory. After the play, MC was called for two penalties, giving the Wolves the ball at the MC12. Two plays later, Jackson picked up his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard plunge to put the Wolves back into the lead at 24-21. 

The two teams then traded punts, with both teams stuck inside their own 10 yard line. The Wolves took full advantage early in the fourth quarter, forcing Hawthorn out of the back of the end zone for a safety to take a 26-21 lead. Candler and the offense took just four plays to go 56 yards after the kick from MC, culminating with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Candler to Taylor Turner to give the Wolves a 33-21 lead with 11:09 left in the game. 

The final score of the game came late in the fourth quarter, as the Wolves put the game away with a 23-yard field goal from Cervantes. It was the second-straight week that the freshman has had two field goals in a game, and he was named as GSC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against West Alabama. Cervantes is now 10-of-12 on field goals this season, including 4-of-5 from 40 yards or longer. 

Candler was 14-for-20 through the air in the contest for 190 yards and a touchdown, and has now had a touchdown pass in every game this season with a total of 18 touchdowns on the year thus far. Christian Royalston had a career-high 73 yards rushing on the day, scoring his fourth touchdown of the year. Montrell Pardue led the defensive effort with nine tackles, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble. 

The Wolves will return home for the final time in the regular season next week, taking on the Delta State Statesmen on Senior Day at University Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Community Day with the West Georgia Wolves. 

 

Related