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Arkansas State opens up Butch Jones era with a win over Central Arkansas

The Red Wolves defeated the Purple Bears 40-21

JONESBORO, Ark. — The Arkansas State Red Wolves opened up their season at home with a win over in-state opponent, the UCA Purple Bears. 

The Purple Bears were the ones to get on the board first with after a 66-yard TD pass from QB Breylin Smith to WR Chris Richmond, with 9:53 left in the first quarter. 

The UCA defense prevented the Red Wolves from any touchdowns in the entire first half. Arkansas State had to settle for field goals in that half. 

The Red Wolves didn't score a touchdown until the third quarter. With 8:21 left, running back Alan Lamar scored for ASU with a two yard rushing touchdown, giving the Red Wolves their first lead of the game,13-7. 

With 2:53 left in the third quarter, ASU QB Layne Hatcher, a Pulaski Academy grad, threw a 34-yard pass to WR Corey Rucker, making the score 20-7. However, with about 30 seconds left Central Arkansas came within a score after Smith's pass to Luj Winningham, making the score 20-14, Red Wolves. 

With 11:44 left in the fourth quarter, another Hatcher-Rucker connection, put the wolves up 26-14. That pairing seemed to work well with Hatcher throwing it to Rucker again, to put the score at 33-14, Red Wolves.

Arkansas State would hang on to defeat the Purple Bears 21-40 in the season opener for both teams. 

Two quarterbacks were in for Arkansas State, although ASU QB and Florida State Transfer James Blackman threw for more yards with 169 yards passing, but no touchdowns. However, Hatcher was the most accurate. Hatcher threw for 150 yards, but went 12 for 12, and threw four touchdowns. 

Up next, UCA will travel to Springfield, Missouri to take on Missouri State. ASU will remain at home to take on Memphis next week on September 11.

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