UWA scores eight rushing TDs in dominant win over Concordia
West Alabama scored eight rushing touchdowns, getting points on each of its first seven possessions, on the way to a 60-7 college football victory over Concordia College Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 3-1 heading into Gulf South Conference play next week at West Georgia (4-0). The Hornets are 1-3 and remain on the road at Ave Maria on Saturday.
West Alabama rang up 548 total yards, 473 of those on the ground. The Tiger defense limited Concordia to just 140 total yards and only 54 passing yards. UWA had four scoring drives that took less than a minute and six that came in under 1:20.
“We wanted to execute and come out firing on all cylinders tonight and I believe we did that,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “We wanted to finish drives, get to third and short and be more productive on first down. We were 7-of-9 on third down and that doesn’t happen if you aren’t productive on first down.”
Eleven different players carried the ball for UWA in the win, with five of them gaining over 50 yards. True freshman quarterback LaBaron Anthony led Tiger rushers with 92 yards on 14 carries after taking over for starter Kyle Caldwell in the second half.
“When Coach G told me I was going in to start the second half I was nervous, but Kyle and Coach Deon (Williams) talked to me about slowing things down and letting the game come to me,” Anthony said. “It got better the longer I was out there and we put some points on the board with a bunch of freshmen out there, so that was good.”
Freshman Tyler Rogers had 85 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, followed by Jabari Baker with 84 on four trips, Caldwell with 74 on five carries and Javae Swindle with 56 yards on none carries. Caldwell, Baker and Swindle did not see action in the second half.
“Coach (Adam) Ross challenged us as an offensive line to work on the little things all week long,” center Jess Allen said. “It also helps when you have somebody like Kyle Caldwell back there at quarterback.”
Not to be outdone, West Alabama’s defense and special teams set up numerous scoring opportunities for the Tigers. Chris Davis intercepted two passes, while Tiger return men averaged 25.4 yards per punt return and 25.0 yards per kickoff return.
“Our defensive front did a great job of getting pressure,” Davis said. “On the first pick the quarterback was scrambling and I heard him tell the receiver to come back to him. I was able to get underneath him and catch the ball.”
Randy Satterfield averaged 28 yards on three punt returns and Daryl Collins 21.5 on two. Collins and Markeyus Johnson each returned a kickoff 25 yards.
Jeremy Caldwell-Fabregas and Brandon Lilly had five tackles each to lead the UWA defense. Nine different players had tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including sacks by Dwight Herlong and Jherron Jones. UWA defenders limited Concordia to 1-of-12 on third down conversions.
West Alabama scored three times the first quarter, with Caldwell running for two touchdowns and Swindle another on the Tigers’ first three possessions.
Caldwell scored from 29 yards out on the Tigers’ first possession to cap a nine-play, 90-yard drive. His second rushing TD was from 18 yards to top off a six-play 50-yard drive. Caldwell ran for 74 yards in the first quarter alone.Swindle’s 16-yard scoring run came two plays after an interception by Davis that set the Tigers up at the Concordia 24 yard line and UWA led 21-0 at the end of the quarter.
Mark Grant hit a 20-yard field goal to put UWA up 24-0 and then nailed a career-best 48-yarder on the final play of the first half. He had the distance, but was just wide on a 52-yard attempt in the third period.
Baker broke loose for 67 yards on UWA’s second possession of the second quarter to set up his own 1-yard scoring run to put the Tigers up 31-0 with 8:27 left in the half.
Rogers scored his second collegiate touchdown on a 45-yard run with 2:18 left in the third quarter to cap a two-play, 51-yard drive. The PAT attempt was no good and UWA led 47-0 after three quarters.
Anthony got in on the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Garrett Mattix nailed the first PAT attempt of his career to make it 54-0 West Alabama. Concordia finally got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jarva Brewer to cap a four-play, 15-yard drive set up when Lawrence Burrell recovered an Tiger fumble deep in Tiger territory.
Rogers scored again with 6:56 left in the game, this time from 21 yards out to stretch UWA’s lead to the final margin.
Caldwell was 7-of-13 passing for 72 yards for UWA, while Anthony was 1-of-3 for three yards. Two Concordia quarterbacks completed just 3-of-18 passing attempts for 54 yards. Fifty-two of those yards came on one play.
Matthew Rowser and Brewer each had 31 yards rushing for the Hornets.