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(Saturday, September 14)
Final Score: South Alabama 31, Western Kentucky 24
Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - South Alabama's Tyrell Pearson intercepted Brandon Doughty to stop a last-minute rally from the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who lost in a 31-24 decision to the Jaguars at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Ross Metheny completed 11-of-15 pass attempts and scored a rushing touchdown for South Alabama (2-1, 1-0 Sun Belt), which was facing Western Kentucky for the first time. Jay Jones led the Jaguars with 49 yards rushing. Wes Saxton caught four passes for 91 yards while Shavarez Smith had three receptions for 72 yards.
Doughty totaled 282 yards and three touchdowns through the air for Western Kentucky (1-2, 0-1) but he also threw three costly interceptions. Antonio Andrews rushed for 122 yards on 15 carries and Nicholas Norris had seven receptions for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Hilltoppers scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Doughty to Tyler Higbee less than three minutes into the game. The key play of the drive was a 40-yard scamper from Andrews that got the Hilltoppers into South Alabama territory.
The Jaguars answered right back on their next drive. On 4th-and-goal Metheny was able to push the ball into the end zone for a touchdown from one yard out.
On the ensuing possession, the Hilltoppers capped off a 15-play, 73-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass from Doughty to Norris. The score pushed Western Kentucky ahead, 14-7.
A 42-yard field goal from Aleem Sunanon, early in the second quarter, kept the Jaguars within striking distance.
Norris and Doughty hooked up again, this time on a 20-yard touchdown pass, with just under six minutes before halftime.
South Alabama struck first in the second half when Sunanon connected on a 43- yard field goal.
Jones would score on a four-yard touchdown run later in the quarter. The Jaguars were successful on the two-point conversion attempt, as they tied the score at 21-21.
On their next drive the Hilltoppers pulled back into the lead thanks to a 44- yard field goal from Garrett Schwettman.
The lead didn't last as Sunanon made good on a 37-yard field goal attempt less than three minutes later to even the score once again.
The Jaguars had a chance to pull ahead but Sunanon missed a 17-yard field goal attempt later on in the period.
Each team would turn the ball over on their next possession, but the most costly turnover was an interception collected by Tyrell Pearson After the takeaway the Jaguars were able to take a 31-24 lead on a one-yard rushing touchdown from Trey Fetner.
The Hilltoppers gave themselves a chance to tie the game, by driving to the South Alabama 13-yard line with under a minute to play. However Doughty was intercepted on 4th-and-10, yet again by Pearson, ending the comeback attempt.
09/15 00:02:42 ET
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