Warhawks Kept Up with the Aggies in the First Half, Then the Second Half Happened

Local Sports

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – ULM went toe to toe with Texas A&M for a half on Saturday night at Kyle Field before falling 48-10.

Quarterback Caleb Evans completed 15-for-28 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown with one interception as the Warhawks accumulated 328 total yards against their Southeastern Conference foes.

ULM (2-1) trailed by two touchdowns at the half and could have been closer if not for a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. The Warhawks were shut out in the second half though as the deficit grew.

“We needed to do something to start the third quarter and we didn’t,” ULM head coach Matt Viator said. “We actually came out and got a stop and got the ball back and couldn’t do anything with it. That was a critical point of the game.”

Texas A&M (2-1) rolled up 530 total yards as Kellen Mond passed for 210 yards and a touchdown and ran for 67 yards and two more scores.

“The kids played hard, but they’re just better than us,” Viator said. “They’re a little bit more physical. They’re pretty good on the O-line and the D-line. Their quarterback had a good game too.”

ULM opens Sun Belt Conference play on Sept. 22 as Troy visits Malone Stadium. The Trojans (2-1) come in riding high after knocking off Nebraska, 24-19, on Saturday.

“Not jumping ahead so fast, but this coming week, certainly in the time that I’ve been at ULM, this is the biggest game we’ve had in Monroe in my opinion,” Viator said. “Troy beat Nebraska today and is coming in as either the one or two pick in the league. This is a huge game for us. We’ve got to regroup and play better, and I think we can. I’m looking forward to next week.”

The Aggies drove 84 yards on nine plays on their first offensive series and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by Trayveon Williams. Williams led the Aggies with 128 yards rushing on 22 attempts.

ULM got on the board with 1:08 left in the first quarter when Craig Ford booted a 27-yard field goal. The Warhawks scored off their 11-play, 67-yard drive and trailed 7-3 after the opening period.
Texas A&M scored 10 unanswered points in the second quarter on Mond’s 7-yard run and a 40-yard field goal by Seth Small, the first of his career.

Down 17-3, ULM mounted a 10-play, 63-yard drive to the A&M 12 but couldn’t get into the end zone. Then Daylon Mack broke through to block a 28-yard field-goal attempt by Ford and Tyrel Dodson returned it 78 yards for a touchdown and a 24-3 lead with 1:21 left in the half. 

The Warhawks finished the half on a better note as Evans hit passes covering 34 yards to Markis McCray and 36 yards to Zach Jackson (his first career catch) to reach the A&M 3. Two plays later, Evans found R.J. Turner for a 2-yard touchdown pass, narrowing the gap to 24-10 with four seconds to go in the second quarter.

Despite trailing by two touchdowns at the half, ULM actually outgained the home team with 261 to 218 total yards but came away with just 10 points in three red zone trips.

“Three trips to the red zone and we scored only 10 points plus we gave them seven,” Viator said. “Other than that, we moved the ball a little bit and stood our ground on defense. They’re foot to foot and running right at us with that big back. We just have to do a better job in the red zone.”

ULM couldn’t get anything going offensively in the third quarter and fell further behind. The Warhawks ran just nine plays for 28 yards and punted twice.

The Aggies ground out another touchdown on a 9-yard run by Mond with 6:05 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 31-10. A&M covered 54 yards on seven plays on their second series of the second half.

Texas A&M led 34-10 after Small’s 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the third.

The theme continued in the fourth quarter as Mond found tight end Jace Sternberger for a 20-yard touchdown with 8:05 to go in the game.

The Aggies tacked on a final score on a 2-yard run by Jashaun Corbin with 39 seconds showing on the clock.

Tail feathers:  ULM game captains were TE Reagan Heddins, S Nick Ingram, TE Sloan Spiller and S Wesley Thompson. … Ingram drew the start at free safety for ULM. … ULM wore white jerseys with gold pants on the road and added a maroon facemask to the white helmet for the first time. … ULM has 41 players from Texas on its roster. … Former ULM quarterbacks Kolton Browning and Raymond Philyaw were spotted in attendance at Kyle Field. … Linebacker Cortez Sisco Jr. recorded his first sack of the season in the first quarter.

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