Monday, October 26, 2009
West Georgia snapped one of the nation's longest losing streaks Saturday on Homecoming, upending GSC rival West Alabama 10-9 at University Stadium on the back of a monstrous second-half defensive effort and a sophomore running back running wild.
"I am so proud for our kids how they have stayed together as a team through this tough time," said head coach Daryl Dickey. "We were able to put together a winning combination of good defense and controlling the clock with the running game and I'm happy that this monkey is off our back."
The Wolves struggled through the first half, unable to capitalize on any West Alabama mistakes. The Tigers used the UWG struggles to build a 9-0 halftime lead.
UWA opened the scoring with a field goal on the opening drive of the game, then followed that score with another first-quarter score with 56 minutes remaining the period. Following a Sean Gray fumble, the Tigers took just two plays to drive 40 yards for the score.
Deon Williams tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Evan Shipp to give West Alabama a 9-0 lead. But UWA kicker Brock Sharp missed the extra point, something that would come back to bite the Tigers in this game.
The two teams played to a stalemate over the second quarter, heading into the locker with the same score.
West Georgia opened their scoring on the first drive of the second half on a 42-yard field goal from junior kicker Adi Brkic. That capped a six-play, 34-yard drive that covered 3:09 to begin the half.
The Wolves weren't done with that, as cornerback Kelly Dawsey intercepted Williams on the third play of the ensuing drive. Brandon Behenna and the UWG offense took full advantage, mounting an eight-play, 71-yard march that ended with Behenna connecting with Matt O'Brien for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Brkic completed the scoring with the extra point, giving the Wolves a 10-9 lead with 6:01 left in the third quarter. That was all the UWG defense needed.
The Tigers were able to get close three times, but twice missed a field goal, setting up the thrilling final six minutes.
After a Brkic punt started the UWA drive with 5:52 left at their own 22, the Tigers mounted a drive that reached the West Georgia 36 yard line. On the following play, Williams rolled to his right and fired to an open receiver. He didn't see UWG safety Trey Wilborn breaking on the ball. Wilborn dove for the interception and came up with it, giving the Wolves the ball back at their own seven yard line with 2:58 remaining.
With a raucous crowd cheering the Wolves on, sophomore Yusef Holloway took over. The running back rushed five times for 66 yards, including a 45-yarder that sealed the UWG victory. Holloway had his best day ever at West Georgia with 26 carries for 176 yards.
As the clock counted down, the UWG fans rushed the field and the streak, which was one of the longest in all of college football, was done.