football

Warhawk Inside Slant

Senior wide receiver Brent Leonard has been somewhat of a non-factor
for ULM in recent outings, but he came up big for the Warhawks in their
38-24 victory over South Alabama.
After catching just four passes for 50 yards in his previous two games
combined, ULM's leading receiver had 126 yards on nine catches, four of them for
touchdowns as the Warhawks improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the Sun Belt
Conference with their fourth straight win. The touchdown receptions tied a
school single-game record set by Stepfret Williams at Nevada in 1995. It also
gave him seven touchdown catches for the season and 13 in his career.
"It was nice to get Brent back in the game," coach Todd Berry said. "The past
couple games he has been a little quiet-not because of him but some of the
things we have been seeing from the defensive perspective."
Leonard had touchdown receptions of 3, 15, and 16 yards in the second quarter
as the Warhawks overcame a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to lead 21-14 at the
intermission.
His 24-yard touchdown reception less than two minutes deep into the fourth
quarter gave the Warhawks a bit of a cushion at 35-21. His efforts were
needed because ULM was having some problems keeping the visitors, who were had
notched the program's first win over an FBS opponent just a week earlier, at
bay.
The Jaguars put together a 93-yard drive in the third quarter to tie the game
at 21-21. A 15-yard personal foul penalty on the ensuing kickoff put the
Warhawks in a position where they needed only 50 yards to march for the go-ahead
touchdown.
"Defensively, we played well at times," Berry said. "The secondary is still
not playing up to what I think they are capable of. It is something we
need to continue to focus on."
NOTES, QUOTES
WHAT'S AHEAD: ULM plays the second of back-to-back home games when the
Warhawks start off November by hosting Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns
will be 11 days between games, having lost a Tuesday night affair to Arkansas
State in their last outing. The Cajuns are 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Sun
Belt Conference. A loss to the Warhawks likely would eliminate them in the
conference race.
At 6-2 ULM is eligible for a bowl game for the third time as a
member of the FBS. The Warhawks have reached the six-win level for just the
third time since the program moved up from Division I-AA (now FCS) for the 1994
season. One more win will set a record for the Warhawks as an FBS team.
The five-game winning streak matches ULM's third-longest such period
of success and the longest since 1993, its last season as an I-AA independent.
The longest winning streak in the program's history is eight games in 1992.
This is the first time ULM has been 4-0 in the Sun Belt Conference
since joining the league in 2001.
Keep An Eye On: Redshirt freshman NT Gerrand Johnson, who
regained his starting position because of the injury to Kentarius
Caldwell, had one of his most-productive games with eight tackles to lead
the Warhawks in the category. That matched his total for his last four games
combined.
Looking Good: Junior QB Kolton Browning was 23-of-35
passing for 250 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 41 yards on just
10 runs. He had only one interception. "He showed me he's probably the best
player in the league," South Alabama coach Joey Jones said. "He's a great
player. He makes plays. He's everything I thought he was going to be."
Still Needs Work: ULM was penalized nine times for 78 yards in the
win over South Alabama. That's a season high in number of penalties and second
in yardage to the 80 yards that were stepped off against the Warhawks against
Middle Tennessee.
Quote To Note: "The special teams impacted the game dramatically
tonight, and that was good to see. That was the first time that our special
teams have truly impacted the game."-Coach Todd Berry, on freshman CB Preston
Coleman's blocked punt in the final minute of the first half set up a
go-ahead touchdown for ULM with six seconds left in the second quarter.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Player Notes:
Senior Brent Leonard had nine receptions against South Alabama, his
most since an 11-catch effort in the season-opening win at Arkansas. He has a
team-leading 51 catches for 549 yards for the season.
Senior RB Mitchell Bailey recorded his first rushing
touchdown of the season on a 32-yard dash in the third quarter.
Senior LB DaCorris Ford made his team-leading third
interception in the fourth quarter.
Roster Report
Junior RB Jyruss Edwards left the game with an undisclosed
injury. He was taken to the hospital and X-rayed and coach Todd Berry later
announced he was out for the remainder of the season. The Warhawks already are
without junior RB Centarius Donald because of injury.
Junior RB Monterrell Washington took over Edwards' primary
responsibilities and rushed for 9 yards on 19 carries.
Senior DB Henry Mitchell started in the "Hawk" position in
place of injured redshirt freshman Mitch Lane and was credited with six
tackles.
Sophomore PK Justin Manton hit on all five of his PATs to
run his streak to 44 straight overall and 42-of-42 this season.
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