CARROLLTON, Ga. – The 10th-ranked West Georgia Wolves scored 35 unanswered points on Saturday evening at the ASU Coliseum, powering past the Albany State Golden Rams with a 45-21 victory to move to 3-0 on the season.
Devontae Jackson continued his step into West Georgia history, joining Nick Price as the second 3,000-yard back in school history. The senior had 100 yards rushing before halftime, marking his 10th career 100-yard game. Jackson got the Wolves going early, running for 35 of 61 yards on the opening West Georgia drive. The big play was a 31-yard touchdown from Jackson with 10:50 left in the first quarter to give the Wolves an early 7-0 lead.
The Golden Rams responded with a six-play, 80-yard drive, capped with a 42-yard touchdown run from running back Tracy Scott. The first quarter ended with the score tied at 7-7, but Omar Cervantes put the Wolves back into the lead early in the second quarter. The redshirt freshman booted a 23-yard field goal to give West Georgia a 10-7 lead.
Albany State then rattled off 14 straight points, taking a 21-10 lead with 3:41 left in the first half. The Wolves responded with a quick drive, using just over two minutes to go 75 yards, and Willie Candler finished off the drive with a 27-yard touchdown strike to Shannon Smith, making it 21-17 heading into the locker room at the break.
Jackson went into the half with his 10th 100-yard game at West Georgia already in his pocket, rushing 11 times for 104 yards, leading the Wolves to a 240-yard first half.
West Georgia received the opening kickoff, and Laperion Perry returned that kick 100 yards for a touchdown, putting the Wolves back into the lead at 24-21. After a three-and-out forced by the UWG defense, the Wolves took 11 plays to drive 86 yards, taking more than six minutes off the third-quarter clock. Candler capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Parmer, making it 31-21 with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Candler struck once more before the end of the third quarter, this time with his legs, scampering in from 29 yards out to make it 38-21 with 2:50 left in the period. West Georgia picked up one more score in the final period, as Candler engineered another drive, going 42 yards in seven plays.
The score came on a 19-yard strike from Candler to junior receiver John Hurst to give the Wolves a 45-21 lead with 6:46 left in the game. Candler led the offense, connecting on 15-of-20 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also had a career-high in rushing yards, running the ball eight times for 86 yards and a score. Jackson carried the ball 18 times for 140 yards and a touchdown as well. On the defensive side of the ball, senior safety Montrell Pardue led the way with nine tackles on the evening.
The Wolves move to 3-0 on the year with the victory and will enter Gulf South Conference play next week with an undefeated record on the year. West Georgia will welcome Florida Tech to University Stadium next Saturday on Hall of Fame Saturday, with five inductees joining the UWG Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime.