Wolves come up short in GSC opener
Tavarus Lewis
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Box Score

Livingston, AL - Facing the first ranked team of the season on the UWG schedule, the West Georgia Wolves battled the 19th-ranked West Alabama Tigers from the opening kick Saturday night at Tiger Stadium, but the Wolves came up on the short end of a 24-20 score.

The name of the game at Tiger Stadium was turnovers, as there were plenty on the field Saturday night. Both teams struggled to hold onto the ball, as the Tigers fumbled four times and West Georgia threw four interceptions.

The first score of the game came off of one of those UWA fumbles, as junior safety Donovan Jackson returned a fumble 35 yards with just over five minutes gone in the contest. The extra point was good by senior kicker Davis Brackett and the Wolves held a 7-0 lead. 

After the two teams traded punts, the TIgers and Harlon Hill candidate running back Matt Willis, began a march. West Alabama drove 58 yards in six plays, finishing the drive off with a seven-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarteback Kyle Caldwell, tying the game at 7-7.

The two teams remained scoreless until the 12:33 mark of the second quarter, when Brackett kicked a 20-yard field goal to put UWG back up 10-7. The Wolves were helped by a fumble from Javae Swindle on the UWA seven yard line after a 43-yard punt from Brackett. UWG quarterback Austin Trainor moved the Wolves to the two, where the short drive stalled.

The Tigers responded with another six-play drive that was capped off by a four-yard touchdown run from Willis, putting the Tigers on top for the first time in the contest at 14-10.

That lead was short-lived, as Trainor drove the Wolves right back down the field. After a 51-yard completion to Tavarus Lewis, the Wolves were within striking distance in the West Alabama red zone. Junior running back Quan Jones made quick work of that field position, rumbling in from nine yards out, giving the Wolves a 17-14 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

As the half wound down, things looked as if that would be the score heading into the locker room, but a pair of pass interference calls as time expired led to a West Alabama field goal, tying the game at 17.

In the second half, the two defenses came to play, as just 10 points would be scored in the second half. West Alabama scored a touchdown on their second drive of the second half and West Georgia drove again inside the UWA 10 before a penalty forced a 32-yard Brackett field goal with 10:44 left.

That would finish out the scoring, although the Wolves had the ball at around midfield with just over a minute remaining, but a pass fell just short from Dallas Dickey, as the Tigers escaped with a win over the Wolves.

West Georgia had 147 yards on the ground and 95 yards through the air. West Alabama rushed for 328 yards and passed for 70. Dickey led the Wolves with 52 yards on the ground, while five diffferent Tigers had at least 40 yards rushing on the night.

West Georgia now returns to the confines of University Stadium next Saturday at 2 p.m., as the Valdosta State Blazers come calling for Homecoming 2012.

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