The Ouachita Tigers' football team (7-2) defeated the Arkansas-Monticello (5-4) by a final score of 55-21 Saturday afternoon to remain in a tie for first place in the Great American Conference.
The game was close throughout the first half, but a huge offensive output in the second half saw Ouachita finish the game with a large margin of victory.
Ouachita's experienced offensive line led a dominant rushing game for the Tigers as the team finished with 398 yards on the ground. Junior running back Kris Oliver led the way with 130 rushing yards while senior quarterback Austin Warford accrued 96 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Shun'cee Thomas contributed 84 yards to the rushing attack, while junior wide receiver Drew Harris ran for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
Warford also led the way for Ouachita's passing attack with 156 passing yards and two touchdowns. Allie Freeman caught both touchdown passes and accumulated 123 receiving yards.
Ouachita's defense forced three turnovers on UAM. Ouachita's Zach Miller intercepted a pass in the third quarter, while Airric Parker returned a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
UAM jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass, but that would be Bill Weevils' only lead of the game. Ouachita tied the game as the first quarter ran out with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Warford to Freeman.
Warford ran for a touchdown on their next possession to gain a 14-7 lead. Cole Antley extended the lead with just under 7 minutes remaining with a converted field goal, but UAM quickly responded with a 65-yard passing touchdown to cut the Ouachita lead to 17-14.
Ouachita finished the half on their next possession with a 13-play, 73-yard drive which ended in a 29-yard field goal from Antley.
The second half was dominated by the Ouachita offense. After stalling on its first drive, Ouachita went on a quick five-play, 66-yard drive which ended in a four-yard touchdown rush from Warford. Warford scored once again a few minutes later with a 12-yard score to extend the lead to 34-14 with 3:24 remaining in the third quarter. UAM finished the quarter with a touchdown drive of their own capped off with an 11-yard rush.
Ouachita's Drew Harris began the fourth quarter with a 46-yard touchdown rush to extend Ouachita's lead to 41-21. On the Tigers' next drive, Allie Freeman caught a three-yard pass from Warford for a touchdown. On the ensuing kick-off, Ouachita recovered a UAM fumble and returned it for a touchdown to end scoring at 55-21.
Ouachita's next game will be played in El Dorado next week against Southern Arkansas. Kick-off will be at 2 p.m.