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Arkansas State bounced back from a tough loss against Life to defeat Indiana 46-23 in Jonesboro, Ark. on Saturday. The Red Wolves pulled away in the final quarter of the game to earn a convincing victory over the Hoosiers.
The first half of the game was very even between the two teams. There were five lead changes in the first half with Arkansas State taking a 17-15 lead into the break.
Teddy Terezis got Indiana on the board first with a converted try but Tanner Pope evened the game with a score for Arkansas State. Indiana retook the lead with a penalty but a Campbell Robinson try for ASU gave the Red Wolves a 12-10 lead. Indiana struck back but Calvin Gentry gave Arkansas State a 17-15 lead right before halftime.
“The two biggest things in the first half were that our tackling was too high but that were also able to run some phases and ended up scoring,” said ASU coach Shaun Potgeiter.
ASU got the first try of the second half but Indiana kept it within one score with a penalty. Arkansas State, however, took over the second half scoring four consecutive tries. Zac Young scored two straight tries to extend the lead to 34-18 while Garrett Soileau and Preston Weigel scored their first of the game each to put it away.
“Our fitness helped us in the last 20 minutes but we made some adjustments at halftime with our defense, tackling lower and starting to get more aggressive at the breakdown. We created quick ball at the breakdown and got multiple phase attack play. Once we got to four or five phases the wholes in the defense started opening up,” said Potgeiter.
Indiana got one back late but the meaningless score left the game 46-23 at the final whistle. It was a solid victory for ASU, who suffered a drubbing last week at the hands of Life. Arkansas State will be tested again next week when it take on Lindenwood in its first Mid-South game.
“These last two weeks were important for us. Life put us in our place and the guys realized that this is where we are and we have to pick up our standard,” Potgeiter indicated. “We bounced back against Indiana which is a quality side so we are going to use this momentum through this week of training.”
For Indiana, the Hoosiers are preparing for the DIA playoffs with a string of tough non-conference games. After winning the Big Ten in the fall, the Hoosiers have a lot of time to prepare for the playoffs. Indiana will take on Penn State, Notre Dame and Notre Dame College as additional tune ups.