The Red Wolves grind
Arkansas State executed ice-cold revenge against Steve Campbell and the Jaguars in Jonesboro on Saturday afternoon.
The Homecoming game started with five three-and-outs. After 10 minutes of play, fans were treated to exactly one (1) first down. The inauspicious start would eventually transmogrify into a dominating Red Wolves performance on both sides of the ball, as Arkansas State delivered ice-cold revenge of Steve Campbell and the Jaguars.
Justin “Moose” McInnis was without equal or mercy, with the 6-6 wideout snagging pills out of the sky for 177 yards and a score. Warren “Magic” Wand, the senior RB who came off the bench in favor of freshman Marcel Murray, produced 100 total yards and a score.
After a sleepy first half that ended with the Red Wolves up 14-7, Arkansas State opened the second with a blitzkrieg that included a dazzling Darvean Brown to JUSTICE HANSEN 20-yard completion. The series resulted in a score.
After the slow start, Hansen was cold as a can of Yoo-Hoo, throwing for three TDs on 332 yards. He also added 25 yards on the ground and a one-yard punch-in.
The Red Wolves defense bounced back from its pounding at Lafayette, holding the Sun Belt’s leader receiver, Jamarous Way, to one reception and five yards. Most importantly, the defense sapped all Jags’ momentum with a 4th down stuff deep in Red Wolves territory (which then resulted in 78 yard reception and score from McInnis). The defense would hold the Jaguars to 260 yards and collect 8 TFLs.
After the Red Wolves opened the third quarter with a scoring drive, the Jaguars responded with a drive of their own, pounding deep into Arkansas State territory. On fourth and one, the Jaguars attempted to maintain momentum with a run up the middle only to be met by Tajhea Chambers and Forrest Merrill, destroying all chances for a South Alabama comeback.
Player of the Game
Justin McInnis and his 177 receiving yards, or Justice Hansen and his 4 total touchdowns are worthy inclusions. But the honor goes to Warren Wand’s 100 total yards and score, reminding us that the senior RB still has the magic to take over a game.
The Lasting Impression
Since the miserable 9-point performance against Appalachian State, the Red Wolves offense has found its offensive mojo, averaging 44 points the last three games.
It was really the first complete game the Red Wolves delivered all season, with the defense locking it down between the 20s and the offense scoring whenever it really felt like it.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars continues to be Tra Mintor, Way and linebacker Bull Barge…and that’s it. Campbell has plenty of work to do in Mobile.
The Red Wolves meet a dangerous Coastal Carolina team in Conway next week. The Jaguars try their luck with ULM.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.