Head Coach Jamey Chadwell and the Statesmen did just that as they defeated the Wolves 33-24 for the team's first home win of the season. The Statesmen improve to 3-3 overall with a 1-1 mark in the Gulf South Conference. West Georgia fell to 2-4 overall with a 0-3 mark in the conference.
"It's a relief to get this win at home. We don't make anything easy. We made some mistakes, but they have been believing for three weeks now and I credit these guys because they kept fighting and it feels good to get this victory in front of a home crowd and this will give us some confidence going into next week," said DSU head coach Jamey Chadwell.
Chadwell said he was proud of the team for the way they fought through adversity.
"There were some places there where we could folded throughout the season and especially the way we started and the way we've gotten behind in games, but this team kept believing in the coaches and each other. Defense would struggle and the offense would pick them up, the offense would struggle and the defense goes out and gets a stop. We are working together and things are coming together," Chadwell added.
The Statesmen came out on fire and drew first blood in the ball game with 4:58 remaining in the opening quarter as Delta State quarterback Trevor Wooten pounded the ball into the end zone from five yards out putting the finishing touches on a 10-play, 60-yard drive. The Wolves blocked the point after attempt, but the Green and White held a 6-0 lead.
The Statesmen defense was in top form forcing two West Georgia punts and following the team's second punt the Statesmen offense manage to put together a solid 11-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Delta State's Justin McArthur scoring on a 13-yard run with 12:07 left in the second quarter. Andrew Jones added the point after for a DSU 13-0 lead.
The Wolves offense came out following Delta State's second score and drove the ball down the field with a 13-play drive that covered 78-yards. The Wolves' quarterback Dallas Dickey scored to end the drive from seven yards out with 5:54 left in the first half. Davis Brackett added the point after for a 13-7 game.
The Statesmen had a chance to put points on the board before the half ended, but Wooden's fourth and 21 pass fell out of the hands of Lavon Downs for what would have been a first down inside the Wolves' five yard line.
The Wolves took over on downs, but could not muster much offense and the second quarter ended with the Statesmen leading 13-7.
West Georgia came out to start the third quarter on a mission. The Wolves moved the ball well, but the Statesmen defense stood tall and stopped them on a third down play and forced a 48-yard field goal attempt. Brackett came out and nailed the field goal right down the middle with 11:05 left in the third quarter for a 13-10 game.
Things went down hill fast for the Statesmen on their next possession as the drive was stopped when Teddy Lawrence intercepted Wooden's pass. Off the turnover the Wolves put together an eight play 53-yard drive that culminated with a 30-yard touchdown run from David Bailey with 3:35 left in the third. Brackett added the point after for a 17-13 Wolves lead.
The Statesmen offense responded with a strong 75-yard drive that ended with Wooden scoring on a 20-yard run with 14:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jones' kick after attempt was blocked, but the Statesmen held a 19-17 lead.
West Georgia next drive was going strong all the way down to the Statesmen's 29-yard line. The Statesmen defense came up big and forced a fourth and five. On the fourth down play, DSU's Kenny Barnes caused a turnover on downs when he knocked down Dickey's intended pass.
Following the turnover the Statesmen offense managed to put more points on the board behind a strong performance from the DSU offensive line. The 11-play, 71-yard drive ended with a 14-yard pass from Wooden to Kevin Jackson. Jones added the kick after for a 26-17 lead with 6:31 remaining in the game.
The Wolves put pressure back on the Statesmen as they drove the ball right back down the field and scored with 3:21 left in the game off a four-yard run from Bailey. The kick from Brackett was good to pull the Wolves to within two points at 26-24.
On Delta State's next possession the Wolves defense came up clutch as they forced a third down and three. The next play was crucial as West Georgia stopped Wooden for what would have been a fourth down, but the Wolves were called for a face masked penalty which gave the Statesmen a first down at their 33 yard line. On the next plat Brant Botill rumbled for a big gain down to the Wolves one-yard line and following his big run, Wooded plunged in for the score with 1:35 left in the contest. Jones added the kick after for a 33-24 lead to secure the game for the Statesmen.
Wooden led the Statesmen offense with 93 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns while also completing 15-of-21 passes 154 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Botill finished with 101 yards on 12 carries, Rondreas Truesdale had 51 yards on 12 carries and McArthur had 21 yards on four carries with a touchdown. Jackson finished with three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown and Downs added three catches for 41 yards.
The Statesmen defense was led by Montavious Hill with seven tackles, Kenny Barnes had seven tackles and Diego Lubin added six tackles with sack.
Delta State will be back in action at 2 p.m. Central against Valdosta State Saturday in Valdosta, Ga.