DENTON, Texas (11/29/08) North Texas came up just short in its last offensive possession as the Arkansas State football team held onto a 33-28 victory on Saturday afternoon at Fouts Field.
The Mean Green finishes its 2008 season with a 1-11 record and a 0-6 mark in the Sun Belt. The Red Wolves move to 6-5 and 4-2 in the conference. ASU takes a 10-8 lead in the series.
Down 33-28, North Texas had an opportunity with 4:05 left in the game for a final scoring drive. Starting on its own 26-yard line, North Texas converted a fourth and three but on its second fourth-down attempt, Giovanni Vizza threw his third interception of the game with 48 seconds.
North Texas outscored the Red Wolves, 14-10, in the second quarter and 14-13 in the third but the Mean Green was shutout in the fourth quarter, 3-0. Josh Arauco gave ASU a five-point lead, 33-28, with his second field goal of the game at 9:05 in the fourth quarter. He hit from distances of 24 and 36 yards in the game.
Montgomery gave the Mean Green its first and only lead of the game, 28-24, with a 29-yard touchdown run at 6:54 in the third quarter. The TD rush was the longest of the season for the running back.
Montgomery recorded two rushing touchdowns in the game. His first cut the lead to 24-21 with a 26-yard touchdown run up the middle at 10:18 in the third. The scoring drive was set up by James Hamilton, who returned the kick-off 27 yards to the NT 48-yard line. Montgomery rushed for 121 in the game, his second 100-yard game of the season.
ASU quickly took the lead back from the Mean Green following Montgomery’s second touchdown run with a one-yard TD run by Reggie Arnold to make it 30-28. Brandon Thompkins set up the touchdown with a 63-yard catch. Tobe Nwigwe brought him down on the NT one-yard line. Arnold ran for 101 yards on 21 carries.
After entering half ahead, the Red Wolves did not waste any time in the second half, driving 80 yards on their first possession for a Corey Leonard three-yard touchdown run. The score extended ASU’s lead to 24-14. Leonard completed 12-of-22 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown.
On the North Texas side, Vizza was 25 of 37 for 202 yards and one touchdown. Casey Fitzgerald led the receiving corp with 11 catches for 90 yards. Senior Brock Stickler caught four passes, including a 12-yard TD pass in the second quarter that tied the game at 7-7. The Mean Green tied the game at 14-14 on a Vizza run but the Arauco field goal gave ASU the lead at halftime.
Eddrick Gilmore had a huge game with two sacks, a blocked extra point and a pass break-up. He also recorded five total tackles in the game. Kylie Hill led the defense with 12 total tackles.