CARROLLTON, Ga. – The 13th-ranked West Georgia Wolves football team rolled to a 42-14 victory over the Limestone Saints on Saturday afternoon at Ra-Lin Field, improving to 2-0 on the season.
Both Willie Candler and Devontae Jackson had outstanding games, as the duo helped the Wolves to nearly 500 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Jackson finished the game with 101 yards rushing and two scores, and moved to third all-time in career rushing yards, passing Seth Hinsley in the UWG record books. Candler finished the day with 21 completions in 28 attempts for 303 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for one score.
For the second straight week, the Wolves defense played a very solid game, allowing just 14 points and 225 yards of total offense. The UWG defense allowed very little against the run, as the Saints managed just 61 yards on the ground. The Wolves forced two takeaways, recovering a pair of Limestone fumbles.
Limestone received the opening kickoff, and on their sixth play from scrimmage, Tyler Jack forced a fumble that was recovered by Montrell Pardue, which set up the offense in Saints territory. Willie Candler then found John Hurst for 16 yards, and then Jackson broke off a 28-yard score to put the Wolves up 7-0 just three minutes into the game.
West Georgia’s next score came from Candler, as the junior found Taylor Turner from the 15, capping a six-play, 69-yard drive and putting the Wolves up 14-0.
After forcing a Limestone punt, the Wolves got great field position, thanks to KJ Parmer’s 29-yard punt return. UWG then drove 34 yards in five plays, capping off the scoring drive with an 11-yard touchdown scamper from Candler to take a commanding 21-0 lead with 4:10 left in the opening quarter.
Limestone then responded by driving for their first score of the game. The big play of the drive was a 38-yard completion to tight end Andrew Hutto, but quarterback DJ Phillips called his own number for the touchdown, running in a two-yard score as the opening quarter ended.
The only score of the second quarter was an 11-yard pass from Candler to Thomas Lester to stretch the UWG advantage to 28-7 as the two teams headed to the locker rooms at the break.
Limestone came out strong early in the second half, as the Saints defense forced a big three-and-out to opening the third quarter. After a 46-yard punt return on the Wolves’ punt, Limestone struck with a 25-yard pass from Phillips to Jerko’ya Patton that cut the West Georgia lead to 14 points.
The West Georgia offense responded with the longest drive of the day, using 14 plays to cover 75 yards and eat more than six minutes off the clock. Jackson finished the drive with his second touchdown on the day, this time from two yards out to stretch the lead back 21 at 35-14. That touchdown was set up by a 24-yard pass from Candler to Parmer in which Parmer was ruled out at the two as he dove for the pylon.
The final score of the game was the second Candler to Lester connection on the day. Candler stepped up in the pocket and fired an absolute missile to Lester from 15 yards out for the score.
Lester finished the game as the second leading receiver on the day, with four catches for 61 yards and the two touchdowns. Emoni Williams led the Wolves with 89 yards on five catches.
Defensively, Chris Blackston led West Georgia with seven tackles and a fumble recovery, while Barron Burns and Ladarius Townsend chipped in with five stops each.
Next week, the Wolves face the first road test of 2018, traveling to Albany for the final non-conference game of the season. The Wolves and Rams of Albany State are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. next Saturday, September 15.