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|Arkansas St. throttles Warhawks in Sun Belt opener|
JONESBORO, Ark. – ULM quarterback Kolton Browning accounted for 350 yards of total offense but its wasn't enough as ULM fell at Arkansas State, 34-20, on Saturday night in its Sun Belt Conference opener. Browning was 19-of-32 through the air for 267 yards and amassed 83 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin passed for 243 yards and rushed for a team-high 75 yards.
Arkansas State (1-2, 1-1 Sun Belt) opened the scoring on its second drive of the night as Aplin found the end zone from four yards out on a quarterback keeper. Aplin's score finished off a 13-play, 70-yard drive for the Red Wolves that took 4:26.
Following a ULM punt, the Red Wolves struck again with 1:08 to play in the first quarter with an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Derek Lawson finished the drive with a 12-yard run off left tackle for the Arkansas State touchdown. The key play of the drive for the Red Wolves was a 42-yard completion from Aplin to Carlos McCants on a third and five at its own 35-yard line.
After ULM (0-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) missed a 30-yard field goal, Arkansas State went 80 yards in 10 plays for its third touchdown of the night. Aplin capped the drive with a 34-yard connection to Dwayne Frampton for the score.
ULM found the end zone on the ensuing drive as Browning hit Brent Leonard from 33 yards out for the score 4:59 before the half. The Warhawks marched 77 yards in just seven plays over 2:52 on the drive. Browning hit Luther Ambrose for 25 yards on the play just before the touchdown. The extra point was blocked as the Warhawks cut the Red Wolves lead to 21-6.
Arkansas State took the 13-point lead into the intermission.
The Warhawks cut the Red Wolves lead to one score with a touchdown on the first possession of the second half. ULM went 80 yards in 10 plays, capped by a four-yard touchdown on a direct snap to Zach Rhodes. The key play of the drive was a Browning to Leonard 29-yard pass on a third and six to keep the drive alive for the Warhawks. Following the touchdown, ULM went for two and Browning found Anthony McCall in the left corner of the end zone to bring the Warhawks within seven.
Arkansas State pushed its lead back to 14 points with a one-yard touchdown run by Phillip Butterfield. The run capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive for the Red Wolves with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter.
ULM moved down the field again on its next drive, getting to the Arkansas State 17-yard line before M.D. Jennings intercepted a pass for Arkansas State on the goal line to end the ULM drive.
With 9:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, Arkansas State increased its lead to 31-14 with a 37-yard field goal from Bobby Zalud.
Browning found Ambrose from 10 yards out with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 31-20, the extra point was blocked. ULM went 73 yards on eight plays on the drive.
Ambrose caught seven passes for 84 yards in the contest, Leonard gained 67 yards on three receptions.
Jason Edwards led the Warhawk defense with 13 total tackles; Cameron Blakes made 10 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss.
The Warhawks return to action next Saturday (Sept. 25) when they host Southeastern Louisiana in the home opener at Malone Stadium. Game time against the Lions is scheduled for 6 p.m.
ASU – Aplin 4-yard run (Zalud kick), 7:04, 1st 0-7
ASU – Lawson 12-yard run (Zalud kick), 1:08, 1st 0-14
ASU – Aplin 34-yard pass to Frampton (Zalud kick), 7:59, 2nd 0-21
ULM – Browning 33-yard pass to Leonard (kick blocked), 4:59, 2nd 6-21
ULM – Rhodes 4-yard run (conversion, Browning to McCall), 10:49, 3rd 14-21
ASU – Butterfield 1-yard run (Zalud kick), 5:16, 3rd 14-28
ASU – Zalud 37-yard field goal, 9:31, 4th 14-31
ULM – Browning 10-yard pass to Ambrose (kick blocked), 5:38, 4th 20-31
ASU – Zalud 24-yard field goal, 2:25, 4th 20-34
ULM at Arkansas State Game Notes
* ULM team captains - OL Anthony Montgomery, NT Bryan Glenn, RB Rodney Lovett
* ULM won the toss for the second straight week. Unlike last week, ULM elected to kick to start the game
* OL Josh Allen and CB Otis Peterson made their first career starts
* ULM is 10-9 on the road in Sun Belt Conference play since 2005
* The Warhawks have dropped eight straight games in the state of Arkansas
* Running back Frank Goodin moved to within 816 yards of ULM's all-time rushing record. The senior now has 2,563 yards in his career
* Offensive lineman Justin Roberts (23 games) and cornerback Nate Brown (15 games) saw their consecutive games started streaks end. Place kicker Radi Jabour (24 games) now is ULM's current leader
* Brent Leonard caught his first career touchdown pass in the second quarter
* Brent Leonard finished with a career-high three catches for 67 yards
* Zach Rhodes scored his first touchdown for ULM with his 4-yard run in the third quarter
* Zarrell Sanders caught his first career pass as a Warhawk in the third quarter
* ULM's successful two-point conversion was its first since 2008 when Darrell McNeal caught a Trey Revell pass at Arkansas State
*Linebacker Jason Edwards finished with double-digit tackles for the second straight game. He finished the game with 13 tackles after recording 11 against Arkansas last week
* Kolton's Browning's 350 yards of total offense were the most since Kinsmon Lancaster has 402 against Middle Tennessee in 2007. It was the fifth most yards of total offensive since ULM joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2001
* Luther Ambrose tied a career-high with seven receptions
* Luther Ambrose's touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his seventh career touchdown reception and second of the season
* ULM allowed an opponent to rush for over 100 yards for the just sixth time in the past 13 games
(Report courtesy ulmwarhawks.com)