CARROLLTON, Ga. – A second half shutout, and 28 unanswered points propelled the UWG Wolves football team to a 35-21 victory on Hall of fame Saturday as West Georgia topped Mississippi College in front of the home crowd at Ra-Lin Field.
After trailing 21-7 at the break, David Dean’s Wolves scored 28 unanswered points to come back for the win as Garrett Bass scored three of his four touchdowns in the second half, two of them to senior John Hurst.
For the game, West Georgia had nearly 500 yards of offense, totaling 445 on the day with 349 through the air. Defensively, the Wolves held the Choctaw triple option attack to 296 total yards.
Bass ended the day going 25-for-37 for 349 yards to lead the offense while Hurst finished with five catches for 93 yards. Fellow senior Thomas Lester had six catches, going for over 100 yards, finishing with 105.
The Wolves forced a punt early in the first quarter after a solid stand by the defense to start the game. However, the Wolves muffed the punt and the Choctaws fell on ball and proceeded to score on the ensuing play as Detric Hawthorn connected with Drew Croegert for a touchdown through the air.
After what appeared to be a three and out for the Wolves on the next possession, the Wolves attempted to go for it with a fake punt. The Choctaws were all over it however and blew up the play in the backfield. The Choctaws followed with a touchdown, this time through Hawthorn on the ground.
The Wolves would not be held scoreless for long however, as on the following possession Bass connected with Hurst for a 63-yard touchdown for the first Wolves touchdown of the day and cut the Choctaw lead in half.
The tough start continued for the Wolves in the first quarter as they fumbled on another punt return after holding the Choctaws to a three and out. After recovering, Mississippi College moved the ball well and scored another touchdown on the ground, increasing their lead to 21-7 heading into the second quarter.
On the next drive, West Georgia’s Omar Cervantes then attempted a field goal that was just to the right and no good, leaving the score 21-7 at the half.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, West Georgia marched down the field and capped off the drive with a touchdown pass from Bass to LaPerion Perry. Perry’s touchdown brought the Wolves within a single score with 12:26 seconds remaining in the third.
After holding the Choctaws to a three-and-out on their first drive of the second half, the Wolves wasted no time moving the ball down the field, capping it off with a five-yard touchdown pass from Bass to Hurst, tying the game at 21-21.
The Wolves would continue their dominating second half as they opened the scoring in the fourth quarter as well, this time with a rushing touchdown from Eric Swinney. Swinney’s touchdown would give the Wolves a 28-21 advantage with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
After forcing another punt from the Choctaws the Wolves moved downfield yet again, this time capping the drive off with yet another touchdown pass from Bass to Hurst.
The Wolves would hold the Choctaws on another fourth down but would fumble the ball on the drive, giving Mississippi college the ball with just over four minutes left in the game. The Choctaws would throw an interception on the second play of the drive though, giving the Wolves the ball back to seal the victory.
Defensively, the Wolves were led by Javon Charleston with nine tackles, while the trio of Cedric Asseh, Chris Blackston, and Austin Barron each had six.
West Georgia is back to the road for game 10 next week, as the Wolves travel to Delta State. Kickoff for that game is set for 3 p.m. EST from Cleveland, Mississippi.