“That was huge. To get off that streak we were on, for our team to play the way that they played, they played up to their capabilities. I’m happy for them and I’m excited for them. It’s been a long four weeks. These four weeks have been tough. They deserved a win [Thursday]. I thought they played hard enough to do it, ran the ball so well and didn’t turn the ball over. That’s a good formula for winning,” UWG coach Daryl Dickey said.
It was the ground game that got things done for the Wolves (3-4, 1-3 Gulf South Conference) against a usually stingy UNA defense. The Lions (5-3, 2-2) came into the game leading the GSC, allowing just 16.1 points a game — the Wolves had 17 at halftime.
Freshman quarterback Dallas Dickey got his second career start and played all but one series in the game. Dickey scored three touchdowns on the night, and along with David Bailey and Seth Hinsley, contributed the majority of the 314 rushing yards in the game.
“That made it a lot easier. We didn’t have to go to the passing game. We had some stuff in there if we needed it, but we were so effective on the ground running the ball, we didn’t need to,” Daryl Dickey said. “Dallas is a pretty head-smart football player. He’s been around the game for a long time and he has some good instincts. Our running game fits him a little bit in what we’re doing ... He played great last week and backed it up with another good performance [Thursday].”
It was the second game in a row the Wolves have had a pair of 100-yard rushers, as Hinsley went for 115 yards and a touchdown while Bailey added 118 yards on the night.
“Our line did a good job. Seth did a good job starting it off. We can’t really take credit for that one — it was all the line,” Bailey said.
Hinsley added, “It was all about focus ... We had a whole lot to gain, pride-wise. We’re fighting for all these seniors and the team unity. We worked hard this week and it showed [Thursday].”
Through the first 17 points of the game for each team, the Wolves were answering UNA. The Lions would score and then West Georgia would respond on its following drive. Dallas Dickey’s 21-yard run tied the game at 7-all, Hinsley’s eight-yard run made it 14-all and Davis Brackett’s 35-yard field goal tied things up at 17-all. UNA would get a field goal with one second on the clock to take the 20-17 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was all Wolves.
Dallas Dickey put together back-to-back one-yard touchdown runs before another UNA field goal left West Georgia up 31-23 after three quarters.
Early in the fourth, the UWG defense got on the board when Trenton Edwards returned an interception 48 yards for the final score of the night.
Defensively, the Wolves allowed 358 yards, but only the two early touchdowns and nothing in the fourth quarter. Donovan Jackson had a pair of interceptions and the special teams added a fumble recovery.
“We played hard all the games, but this is a big one,” Jackson said. “The first [interception] I credit to my middle linebacker, [Adam] Strakose. He got underneath and allowed me to go up to make the interception. Coach [Jody] Allen told us on the sideline to go all in. It was a good play.”
Now the Wolves will have a little extra time to prepare for No. 17 West Texas A&M.
“We’ve got three big games, but two Lonestar Conference teams that will be top football teams. Our hands will be full, there’s no question about that. We’ll enjoy this for a couple days, enjoy our weekend and get back to work on Monday,” Daryl Dickey said.