BETHANY, Okla. – Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys head football coach Raymond Monica entered Thursday night’s game against Southern Nazarene with a plan.
In memory of Zemaric Holt, the former Wonder Boys defensive lineman who tragically passed away over the summer, Monica sent just ten players onto the field for the first play from scrimmage. On that play, a short pass was completed and then fumbled toward the SNU end zone, where the Wonder Boys’ Nick Akins fell on the loose ball for the touchdown.
The play was a sign of things to come, as the Wonder Boys (1-0, 1-0 Great American Conference) scored the game’s first 52 points in a 62-14 win over the Crimson Storm (0-1, 0-1 GAC) on Thursday night at the SNU Football Stadium.
"I’m very proud of the players and the way they prepared," said Monica. "We saw it all week long. They’ve been making plays on the practice field and they carried it into the game."
The Wonder Boys’ 62-point performance was the highest single-game point total since October 17, 2009, when Tech had a 62-point performance against West Georgia.
Tech racked up 469 yards on the ground along with six rushing touchdowns in its win, behind the dual-threat tandem of Bryan Allen (14 carries for 138 yards) and Brayden Stringer (19 carries for 136 yards). Kristian Thompson carried the ball 17 times for 94 yards while JaMarcus Walker also carried 11 times for 64 yards.
Signal-caller Arsenio Favor picked up two rushing touchdowns while passing for 121 yards and one score.
Not to be outdone, senior Logan Genz, who entered the game tied for the Arkansas Tech career tackles record, claimed sole possession of the record with his three-tackle performance. Akins led the Wonder Boys with five stops in the win.
After the Wonder Boys jumped on the board on the first play from scrimmage, Tech forced SNU to punt on its next possession and marched 54 yards downfield over six plays, capping the drive with a 11-yard touchdown run by Favor to give Tech a 14-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
A three-and-out on the subsequent possession for the Crimson Storm set up another scoring drive for the Wonder Boys, as Eric Perez drilled a 30-yard field goal to give Tech a 17-0 lead.
The 17-0 lead would hold through the first quarter, and on the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, a 12-yard touchdown run by Stringer gave Tech a 24-0 lead.
Walker punched into the end zone on the next Tech drive with a seven-yard run that capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive and gave Tech a 31-0 lead, and after an interception by Alonzo Joyner on SNU’s first play of its next possession, the Wonder Boys took advantage of good field position to add another scoring drive, an eight-play, 35-yard effort capped by a one-yard run by Favor.
Favor connected with Cross in the final minute of the half on a six-yard touchdown pass to give the Wonder Boys a 45-0 lead at the half.
Tech added another score on its second drive of the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown rush by Allen before the Crimson Storm got on the board.
With Tech leading 52-7, Perez hit his second field goal of the contest, a 32-yarder that gave the Wonder Boys a 55-7 lead with 20 seconds to play in the quarter.
Thompson tacked on Tech’s final score of the game with 5:08 to play, and another SNU touchdown in the closing minute narrowed its deficit to 62-14.
Arkansas Tech will return to action next Sept. 12, returning to the friendly confines of Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field for a 6 p.m. contest against Oklahoma Baptist.