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October 12, 2013

Warhawks win late over Texas St.

Warhawks win late SAN MARCOS, Texas - Texas State staged a late rally to tie the game, but Centarius Donald's nine-yard touchdown run with just 18 seconds remaining sealed the game for ULM, giving the Warhawks a 21-14 win in dramatic fashion.

The win was the first Sun Belt victory of the season for ULM (3-4, 1-1). The Bobcats (3-3, 0-2) dropped their second consecutive game.

Isaiah Newsome emerged as a defensive star for the Warhawks on the night, becoming just the second player in Sun Belt Conference history to return two interceptions for touchdowns. The senior also broke the Sun Belt record for interception return yardage in a single game as his pair of returns went for 146 yards and were the lone points for ULM until Donald's decisive touchdown.

Donald, in addition to his late-game heroics, led the Warhawks with 45 yards on 14 carries with a long run of 15 yards. Jyruss Edwards also carried the ball 11 times for 31 yards.

Tavarese Maye starred in the passing game for ULM, hauling in seven passes for 74 yards. Kenzee Jackson grabbed three balls for 20 yards and Rashon Ceaser added two catches for 17 yards.

For Texas State, Robert Lowe led all rushers with 140 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown.

ULM held Texas State scoreless in the first half, marking the first time that the Warhawks have held an opponent off the scoreboard in a half since Dec. 3, 2011, when they pitched a shutout against Florida Atlantic.

The Warhawks broke through in a big way in the middle of the first quarter. With the Bobcats driving, Newsome picked off a Tyler Jones pass over the middle and was able to escape into open field to the left, running 71 yards nearly untouched into the end zone. The pick-six was the first of Newsome's career and was his third interception of the season; following Justin Manton's extra point, ULM took the early 7-0 lead.

Neither side could move the ball well throughout the second quarter until ULM's final drive. Brayle Brown led the Warhawks down the field, including converting a critical fourth down on a four-yard carry. That conversion was the first fourth-down attempt that Texas State had surrendered on the season. Unfortunately, the offense could not capitalize on the long drive as Manton's field goal came up short as time expired in the first half.

Newsome and the defense struck again early in the third quarter for ULM. The senior safety made a fantastic play on a pass, reaching out and picking it off with just his left hand before breaking free once again, galloping into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. He became just the second player in ULM history to have two interceptions returned for scores in the same game; the only other player to accomplish the feat was Karlton Washington who had a pair against Northwestern State on Sept. 25, 1999.

Set up with excellent field position thanks to David Mayo picking off Brown at the ULM 8, the Bobcats finally got on the board with a field goal at the 5:50 mark of the third quarter. Jason Dann connected from 22 yards on the kick to cut ULM's lead to 14-3.

Another Bobcat field goal late in the quarter made it a one-possession game. Texas State made a quarterback switch, going from Jones to Tyler Arndt prior to the drive, but Lowe did the majority of the damage with his legs. He racked up 42 yards on only three carries, but the ULM defense buckled down just outside the red zone, forcing Dann to kick another field goal, this time from 43 yards.

Texas State staged a late comeback midway through the fourth quarter. Following a 36-yard punt return, the Bobcats moved down to the ULM six-yard line after a pass interference call. Lowe blasted into the right side of the end zone for the touchdown, and Arndt found Andy Erickson on the right side for the two-point conversion to tie things up at 14-14.

Left with 2:56 to work with, the Warhawks created some late-game drama of their own. Buoyed by critical passes from Brown, none more important than a 20-yard strike to Maye on third down, ULM moved down to the Texas State nine-yard line. Donald made the rush around the right end of the line and was initially ruled down, but the call was reversed after it was ruled that he landed on top of the tackler and was not down prior to breaking the plane.

The Bobcats made one last effort to break a big play, but Ray Stovall ended their hopes by tackling Lowe at Texas State's 42-yard line, ending the contest.

ULM will have a bye week and will not play next weekend. The Warhawks will return to action for a Homecoming showdown against Georgia State on Oct. 26 at Malone Stadium. The meeting will be the first all-time between ULM and the Panthers, who are newcomers to the Sun Belt this season.



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