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Life and Arkansas State came out victorious in the Mid-South last weekend with wins over Clemson and Davenport, respectively. The Running Eagles surged past Clemson 81-12 and the Red Wolves used a strong second half to come out on top against visiting Davenport 33-19.
Although Life led 29-5 on the road at Clemson, the Running Eagles spent much of the half defending. The Running Eagles got several quick-strike tries on turnovers and line breaks but Clemson did good job of keeping possession.
“Clemson did areally good job with building some continuity during the first half,” said Life coach Scott Lawrence. “Clemson controlled the territory and it was a lot of one shot scores for us.”
Things unraveled a bit for Clemson in the second half. The Running Eagles poured in 52 points after wearing down the Tigers. Life ran on a litany of subs and it took its toll on the home side.
“There are some games like that where you stay close until the last few minutes of the game and some fatigue took over,” Lawrence added.
Life has pretty much sewn up the Mid-South with its undefeated record. However, the Running Eagles are gearing up for two long road trips to close out conference play. Life will head to Lindenwood and Davenport on consecutive weekends to close out conference play and get ready for the DIA playoffs.
“We have been shuffling the lineup due to a number of factors. We are trying to find ourselves and build some continuity. We are in a good position in the points table but we have a lot of work to do in these next couple of weeks to get ourselves in better shape,” Lawrence concluded.
Over in Jonesboro, Arkansas State needed a strong second half to outlast Davenport. The Red Wolves came out a bit flat and fell down 7-0 early before ASU got on the board to make the game 7-5. However, the Panthers scored two more tries to take a 19-5 in the first 20 minutes.
“We came out flat and Davenport jumped out on us,” said ASU coach Shaun Potgeiter.
ASU bounced back in the final 20 minutes of the first half. The Red Wolves only managed one try, though, going into the break trailing 19-12.
“Slowly but surely we started to get into the game. We showed better composure in the last 20 minutes and went to halftime with a little bit of momentum,” stated Potgeiter.
The Red Wolves woke up in the second half, though, scoring 21 unanswered points while blanking Davenport. ASU made some tactical changes, aiming to take the ball in more space. It paid dividends, as ASU managed to break down Davenport three more times in the second half.
“We made some adjustments to create some things. We missed too many tackles in the first half so we addressed that and we had a 91 percent tackle completion rate in the second half and they did not score any points.”
It was a good win for Arkansas State, who has not lost since a drubbing to Life nearly a month ago. The Red Wolves did not play their best but got the win nonetheless.
“I am happy with the way the second half went. We grinded and we won a game from behind,” Potgeiter concluded.
Arkansas State will take on Clemson next week.