Samford falls short at Arkansas 31-21

Samford Bulldogs

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WIAT)-The Samford Bulldogs traveled to Little Rock to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks for their second game this season. The bulldogs were leading in the third quarter but Arkansas put in 14 points in the fourth to secure the win. Below is the official press release from Samford University.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—The Samford football team took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter, but Arkansas came back to win in the final period, 31-21, Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium.

“I’m proud of our football team,” Samford assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Bill D’Ottavio said. “Our kids fought hard the whole game. They played hard, they didn’t back down. No one gave them a chance coming in here, but they believed they could win this football game.”

D’Ottavio filled in for Samford head coach Pat Sullivan again, who is recovering from back surgery.

“Arkansas is a good football team and they played really well down the stretch,” D’Ottavio said. “They made the plays to beat us and you have to give them the credit. I thought their coaches did a great job of adjusting, and they ended up beating us, but I am really proud of our football team.”

The Samford offense was led by senior running back Fabian Truss, rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 19-of-28 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Kelsey Pope caught three passes for 29 yards, while senior tight end Zeke Walters had two catches for 20 yards and a score.

Defensively for Samford, senior linebacker Justin Shade had 10 tackles, including Samford’s lone sack of the game. Shade also forced two fumbles in the game. Bobby Wilson also had 10 tackles for the Bulldogs. Trey Wesley had nine tackles and two fumble recoveries.

For Arkansas, Alex Collins rushed 24 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Williams had 17 rushes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Allen completed 9-of-17 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Arkansas scored on its first possession of the game, driving 75 yards for the game’s opening score. Allen hit Mitchell Loewen for a 24-yard touchdown with 12:02 to go in the first quarter. Zack Hocker added the extra point to give the Razorbacks a 7-0 lead.

Arkansas struck again on its next drive. Allen connected with Javontee Herndon for a seven-yard touchdown, and Hocker’s extra point made the score 14-0 with 7:36 left in the opening quarter.

Samford put its first points on the scoreboard late in the first quarter. Pope scored on a two-yard run with 1:36 to go in the first quarter, and Warren Handrahan added the extra point to cut the Arkansas lead to 14-7. The scoring play capped a 75-yard drive that took six minutes off the clock for the Bulldogs’ first points of the contest.

Arkansas added to its lead on its first drive of the second quarter. Hocker kicked a 53-yard field goal to push the Razorbacks’ lead to 17-7 with 11:54 left in the second quarter. The teams headed to halftime with Arkansas holding a 17-7 advantage.

Samford put the first points of the second half on the scoreboard when Summerlin hit Walters for a two-yard touchdown pass with 11:22 to go in the third quarter. Handrahan’s extra point brought Samford to within three points at 17-14. The drive was set up when Wesley recovered an Arkansas fumble, giving Samford the ball at the Razorbacks’ 24-yard line.

The Bulldogs took the lead with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter. Truss ran for a 16-yard touchdown, and Handrahan’s PAT gave Samford a 21-17 lead with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

Arkansas took the lead again on the third play of the fourth quarter. Williams scored on a one-yard run with 13:38 to go in the fourth quarter. Hocker’s extra point gave the Razorbacks a 24-21 lead. Arkansas added to its lead when Alex Collins scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 9:04 left in the game. Hocker’s PAT made the score 31-21.

As a team, Samford finished with 231 yards of total offense, compared to 458 for Arkansas. The Razorbacks committed two turnovers in the game, both on fumbles, while Samford did not commit a turnover.

With the loss, Samford drops to 1-1 on the young season. Arkansas improves to 2-0 with the win.

Samford will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 14, when the Bulldogs travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the Florida A&M Rattlers. Kickoff for the game is set for 1 p.m. (CT).

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