Arkansas holds off Jacksonville State

By Haley Markle

Arkansas opened the football season with a 49-24 defeat of Jacksonville State.

The game did not begin seamlessly, with a fumble by quarterback Tyler Wilson that ended the first drive of the game.

However, the Razorbacks got a defensive stop, and a 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Byran Jones to recover the ball. They then went on to score first with an 11 play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Kody Walker. The extra point was added by kicker Zach Hocker. Jacksonville State answered with a touchdown of their own, bringing the score to 7-7.

The Hogs got off to a rough start in the second quarter with another fumble, this time by tight end Chris Gragg. The ensuing drive led to a Gamecock touchdown and extra point, making the score 14-7 in favor of Jacksonville State.

Arkansas answered with a five play, 58-yard touchdown drive to even up the score. The Arkansas defense got a quick stop and allowed the offense to get back on the field. Wilson led the Arkansas offense 49 yards down the field and threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Gragg. Hocker’s extra point gave the Razorbacks a lead of 21-14.

The Jacksonville State offense was again forced off the field after only three plays. The Hog offense covered 61 yards in five plays to score another touchdown and stretch the lead to 14.

The Jacksonville State offense left the field after only three plays for the third consecutive drive, and the Arkansas offense went to work again. A pass from Wilson to Brandon Mitchell for 37 yards and three runs by Knile Davis led to the third consecutive Arkansas touchdown and a score of 35-14.

In the next drive, the Gamecocks drove 75 yards down the field in 11 plays to score their third touchdown of the game. Gamecock kicker Griffin Thomas added the extra point and pulled his team back to a 14 point deficit.

The third quarter started with a three-and-out by each team before the Gamecocks drove down the field to score on a 49-yard field goal attempt. The following drive by Arkansas was capped by a 63-yard pass to wide receiver Javontee Herndon, bringing the score  42-24.

The final touchdown of the night was scored by Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson with fewer than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. The fourth quarter proved to be fruitless for the offense of each team, and the game ended with a final score of 49-24.

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