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College Football: Tech falls to OBU at homecoming

RUSSELLVILLE — Arkansas Tech was unable to keep Ouachita Baptist the board in the fourth quarter of a 34-24 loss on homecoming Saturday at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.

Preston Conder came off the bench to complete nine of 20 passes for 134 yards, engineering a game-tying drive early in the third quarter. Logan Genz notched 15 tackles, a forced fumble, and added an interception, while Deandre’ Bonner returned a pick for a touchdown to highlight the Wonder Boys efforts.

The setback snapped a six-game Homecoming winning streak for Arkansas Tech (3-5, 3-4 Great American Conference).

OBU (6-1, 6-1 GAC) got on the board first, capitalizing on good field position after a 39-yard punt return by Etauj Allen as Chris Rycraw took a handoff 17 yards for the score to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.

The Wonder Boys marched downfield on the subsequent drive, getting on the board as Randy Velazquez booted a 41-yard field goal to narrow the OBU lead to 7-3 with 1:58 to play in the opening quarter.

On OBU’s first drive of the second quarter, an errant Benson Jordan pass was intercepted by Logan Genz, who returned the ball 23 yards to the Tigers’ six-yard line. Justin Owens hit the endzone on the first play from scrimmage, giving the Wonder Boys a 10-7 lead with 10:18 to play until half.

OBU responded on the next drive, as Matthew Ehasz hit a 21-yard field goal to knot the game at 10-10 with 5:55 to play, and the Tigers took the lead as Jordan connected with Jalen Jones on a 12-yard route to give OBU a 17-10 lead with 59 seconds to play until half.

In the second half, Tech turned to Preston Conder after Luke Halpin was knocked out of the game, and Conder went deep on his first pass, connecting with Jerry Anderson on a 50-yard route that gave the Wonder Boys a first-and-goal situation at the OBU 3.

Jonathan Keener ran the ball in for the score, and the game was knotted once again with 14:13 to play in the third.

After the two defenses traded stops, Benson and Jones connected again on a touchdown, pulling OBU ahead 24-17 with 7:21 to play in the third quarter. The OBU defense got the stop on the next possession, but on the following possession, Jordan was picked by Bonner, who ran the pick back 43 yards for the score, tying the game with 2:37 to play in the third.

Again, special teams play benefitted from a strong return by Allen, as he returned a Tech punt 46 yards to the Tech 15-yard line. Rycraw found the end zone and the Tigers took the lead for good. Ehasz tacked on another chip-shot field goal to set the final margin at 34-24.

DeVarius Rice and Thomas Soehner both added nine tackles, while Shai Kobayashi added eight.

The Wonder Boys will return to action Nov. 2, traveling to East Central for the final road game of the season.

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