West Alabama game notes

September 4, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

Demetre Baker, Paul Bennett and Kendall Houston line up in the wishbone at the goal line.

The Jaguars get the job done, but it wasn’t pretty. The Jags had to shake off four turnovers in the first half to get the 20-10 victory and extend their all-time record to 18-0.

The Jaguars racked up 205 yards on the ground and another 151 yards in the air in the game. The rushing attack was lead by Kendall Houston who ran for 78 yards on 11 touches for two touchdowns after being suspended for the first half with three other players. Ellis Hill added 40 yards on seven carries in the start. Demetre Baker, another player suspended for the first half, added 39 yards on six carries. C.J. Bennett ran for 31 yards on eight runs with a touchdown. Santuan McGee chipped in 17 yards on four carries.

C.J. Bennett was 12-of-21 for 151 yards and three touchdowns with one sack. Bryant Lavender lead the receivers with three catches for 55 yards. Corey Waldon also had three catches for 21 yards. Jereme Jones added 27 yards with his two catches. Four other receivers had receptions in the game, highlighted by Lamontis Gardner with a 28 yard reception.

South Alabama gained one more first down than West Alabama with 18 to their 17. Both teams gained 10 first downs on the ground. The Jaguars rushed for 205 yards on 36 carries to UWA’s 167 yards on 47 carries. USA averaged 5.7 yards per rush to UWA’s 3.6 yards per rush. Also the Jags only lost 10 yards while running the ball compared to UWA’s 49 yards lost rushing.

USA was 12-for-21 passing with three interceptions for 151 yards while averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and 12.6 yards per completion. UWA went 10-for-22 passing with two interceptions. They averaged 4.6 yards per play and 10.1 yards per completion.

South Alabama gained 356 yards on 57 offensive plays with an average of 6.2 yards per play. USA fumbled three times and lost one, both of the recovered fumbles were by Baker. West Alabama ran 69 plays while gaining 268 yards while averaging 3.9 yards per play. They fumbled twice and recovered both of them.

UWA won the time of possession battle 32:39 to 27:21 and also possessing the ball for 10:18 in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Gary Johnston was the Tigers leading rusher with 72 yards on 22 runs and a touchdown. He also threw for 101 yards while going 10-for-22. His favorite receiver was Gerald Worsham with five receptions for 44 yards. Ken may added 48 yards on three catches. Two other players had receptions as well.

UWA’s Gabe Poe lead all players with 12 total stops. Enrique Williams lead the Jags with 11 total stops, five solo. B.J. Scott  added 10 more stops, 8 of them solo. Ken Barefield was credited with a sack for 12 yards and Clifton Crews with Enrique Willams both credited with half a sack.

After the game Coach Jones commented on the game. “Not having Kendall and Demetre the first half didn’t help, but they are great running backs,” he said. “Those two guys are probably the core of our offense running the football. We’re a very good football team with those two guys running it.”

“Obviously it wasn’t a great ball game; we didn’t play extremely well though I thought West Alabama played really hard,” Coach Jones continued.  “When you have four turnovers in the first half, it’s not a good thing — we have to learn to protect the football. We had some penalties and untimely things happen, so we have to go back to work and see how we can get better.”

“But I think that was a great second half. We pounded the ball at them and ran it really well, we got Kendall and Demetre in there and controlled the ball,” he continued. “I thought we played better in the second half, but we have to play four quarters to beat good teams and we just didn’t do that tonight; we didn’t play extremely well the whole game.”

West Alabama coach Will Hall commented after the game as well. “I thought they wore us down a little bit. It’s a credit to them and their defense as well. We came out offensively in the second half and went three-and-out, and USA got it and went down and scored. There were some good adjustments by USA at halftime.”

“We spilled our guts out on the field. I expected our kids to do that, but I’m so proud of how they did. Credit to coach Jones and coach [Bill] Clarlk. They do a great job and have a great thing going here at South Alabama. I think these are the two most up-and-coming programs in the state of Alabama. I can’t say enough though about what they do at South Alabama and I can’t say enough about our kids’ effort tonight. I really think we have a chance to have a good D-II football team.”

Tremain Smith went off in the first half with the trainers looking at his hand, plus Melvin Meggs had to come off the field but redshirt Drew Dearmon came in and performed well on the line. Meggs should be back next week and hopefully Smith’s re-aggravated injury isn’t serious.

South Alabama will host Lamar on September 10th with kickoff slated for 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

South Alabama took the opening drive 80 yards in nine plays in 4:29 seconds to take an early 7-0 lead. Ellis Hill opened the game with a one yard rush, followed by a three yard scramble by C.J. Bennett. Bennett then found Jereme Jones for 15 yards to get the first down. A hold on Trey Clark would back the Jags to their 29 yard line. Bennett then found Lavender for 22 yards for the second first down of the drive to the UWA 49 yard line. A personal foul by the Tigers would tack on 15 more yards to put the Jags at the UWA 34. After an incomplete pass, Brian Krauskopf was flagged for a five yard false start. Bennett would complete the next two passes to Lavender for 13 then Waldon for six more yards to earn a first down at the Tiger 20. Ellis Hill would run for two yards before C.J. Bennett would take it in from the 18 with a run. Jordan Means would add the PAT.

UWA would start their first drive on their own 28 yard line. On 3rd and 11, Johnston would run for 15 yards and a first down at their 42. However an illegal formation on first down would back them up five yards. A few plays later a third down rush out to the UWA 49 would be negated by a 15 yard personal foul setting up 4th and 18 and a punt.

The Jags next drive would start at their own 27 yard line. After a rush by McGee, Bennett’s pass would be tipped at the line and caught by Justin Hawkins at the 28 yard line.

UWA would open the drive with a one yard rush to the Jaguar 27. A miscommunication caused a snap when quarterback Johnston was looking to the sidelines. The Tigers would recover it at the Jaguar 41 setting up 3rd and 23. Johnston would be penalized for intentional grounding when Ken Barfield leapt over the offensive linemen and was about to sack Johnson. On 4th and 35 at the UWA 47, they would take a five yard delay of game penalty forcing a punt on 4th and 40.

South Alabama would go three-and-out on their next series. Scott Garber’s first punt would be called back on off-setting personal fouls. Garber’s second attempt would be shanked and only netted 24 yards to the USA 46 yard line.

On UWA’s next drive, they would face 3rd and 12 at the Jaguar 48 yard line when T-Ray Mitchell would run for 31 yards to the three yard line. Johnston would take the ball in on the next play to tie the game at 7-7.

USA would start their next possession on their 23 yard line with one minute left in the first quarter. Bennett would complete a pass to Kevin Helms for nine yards out to the 32 yard line. Ellis Hill would end the quarter with an eight yard run for a first down at the 40 yard line.

Ellis Hill would open the second quarter with a second consecutive eight yard run out to near midfield at the 48 yard line. C.J. Bennett would fumble the ball away to UWA at the Jaguar 49 yard line.

UWA would start on the USA 49 before losing a yard on a rush. They would then run Matthew Willis for back to back gains of nine and three yards to get a first down at the USA 38. In a three play span Johnston would lose two yards, throw and incompletion and then lose four more yards. Facing 4th and 16 at the Jaguar 44, UWA would down their punt at the one yard line.

Starting at their own one yard line, Bennett would fall forward for two yards then complete a key pass to Lamontis Gardner for 28 to get a first down at their own 31 yard line. McGee would rush for nine and seven yards on the next two plays get another first down. However Paul Bennett would get flagged for a personal foul to back them up to their own 32 yard line again with first and 10. Bennett would complete a pass to Waldon for seven yards before being sacked for four. On 3rd and seven at the Jaguar 35, Bennett’s pass to Waldon would be intercepted at the UWA 47 and returned to the Jaguar 48.

UWA’s Johnson 2nd and nine pass at the Jaguar 22 would be intercepted by Ken Barefield at the 13 yard line. He would return it 15 yards to give the Jaguar offense the ball at the 28 yard line.

Ellis Hill would open the drive with three consecutive rushes for 5, 12 and 4 yards. After an incomplete pass and facing a 3rd and six at the Jaguar 49, Bennett would run for seven yards and a first down. After another incomplete pass, Bennett would again rush for three yards The Jags would take a timeout to think about the 3rd down and seven at the UWA 41 yard line. After an encroachment call on Waldon for five yard, Bennett would be intercepted by the Tigers at the UWA 7-yard line.

With 1:49 left until halftime, UWA would run three consecutive plays to run out the clock.

UWA would open the second half with a reverse on the opening kickoff to get the ball out to their own 45 yard line. However the offense would go three and out.

USA would start their first drive of the second half at their own 22 yard line. Kendall Houston would open the drive with a seven yard rush. Bennett would find Jeremy Jones open for 12 yards and a first down at the USA 41. Houston would rush for five yards then no gain on the next two plays. Then Bennett would complete a pass to Houston for four yards just shy of the first down. On 4th and 1 at the midfield stripe, Houston would run the draw up the middle for seven yards and the first down.

Demetre Baker would come in for Houston and rush for gains of 11 and 10 yards on his first two plays. At the UWA 22 Baker would fumbled but the ball would be recovered by the Jags at the 22. USA would use a timeout with 8:33 left in the 3rd quarter. Houston would return to the game after the timeout. Bennett complete a pass to Lavender for 20 yards down to the Tiger 2 yard line. Houston would cap off the drive with a two yard run for the touchdown. The PAT snap would go awry leaving the Jags up 13-7.

UWA would take the kickoff out to their own 24 yard line. After driving 6 plays for 35 yards, they would punt from the Jaguar 41 yard line, but it would go into the end zone for a touchback.

South Alabama would take the ball at their own 20 yard line and rush Baker for four yards then Houston for five yards to set up third and one at the Jaguar 29. However Paul Bennett would be flagged for a false start. Bennett would scramble for one yard before Scott Garber would punt the ball 35 yards and returned six to start their drive at their own 46 yard line.

UWA would start driving from near midfield just before the end of the third quarter. On first and 10 from the USA 24, Anton Graphenreed would be flagged for a personal foul putting the ball on the Jaguar 9 yard line with a first down. On first down, UWA would lose one yard on a run. Quarterback Johnston would the rush for four yards to the six yard line and the Jaguars would take a time out on third and goal.

UWA would be flagged on the third and goal play for 10 yards backing the Tigers up to third and goal on the 16 yard line. After some confusion on the defenses part and frantic arm waving on the Jaguar sidelines, South Alabama would use their final time out of the second half with 11:26 left in the game.

Gary Johnston would complete a pass to Ken May for 11 and was pushed out of bounfd at the 5 yard line by B.J. Scott. The Tigers then lined up and kicked a field goal to cut the Jaguar lead to 13-10 with 10:58 left in the game.

The Jags started their drive on the USA 34 yard line. Kendall Houston would take the first hand out 23 yards to the UWA 43 yard line before being forced out of bounds. Demetre Baker would take the next handoff 11 yards to the UWA 32 yard line. Baker would also take the next handoff and fumble the ball but recover it himself for a nine yard gain to the UWA 29. Bennett’s pass would fall incomplete after being rushed by the Tiger defense. His next pass would find his target, Corey Waldon, for eight more yards and a first down at the UWA 21 yard line. Kendall would take the next two handoffs for 11 yards and 10 yards to score the final points of the game. The Jordan Means PAT would give us the final score of 20-10 with 8:13 left in the game.

The next West Alabama possession would start at their own 29 yard line and drive down to the Jaguar 18 yard line before the defense would step up to stop the scoring threat. Charles Harris would intercept the Johnston pass at the goal line and return it out to the Jaguar two yard line. Bryson James would be flagged after the play for unsportsmanlike conduct backing the Jags to the one yard line.

The Jags would get some space for Garber’s punt while running almost two minutes off of the clock.

UWA would have the ball with 2:25 left in the game, all three of their time outs and only down by 10 points. However they seemingly gave up and had no sense of urgency. They continued to run their offense normally without calling any timeouts.


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