MONROE, La. – Tied 10-10 with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter, Pete Thomas ran in a nine-yard go-ahead touchdown to lift the ULM football program to a 17-10 victory over Wake Forest on a muggy Thursday night at JPS Field in Malone Stadium.
The Warhawks (1-0), who were wearing camo jerseys for the first time in FBS history, trailed 10-0 at the half before rallying for 17 unanswered points on Wake Forest (0-1). With the win, ULM swept the home-and-home series against the Demon Deacons.
Trailing by a touchdown with 4:02 left in the third quarter, Mitch Lane turned the game around for the Warhawks as he intercepted John Wolford’s pass attempt and ran it back 31 yards for a score to tie the game at 10-10.
The defense came through for the Warhawks in the first game of the season as they garnered 49 tackles, six sacks, eight tackles for loss totaling 57 yards, one interception, four pass break-ups and seven quarterback hurries.
Lane led the team with six tackles and one interception. Gerrand Johnson tallied five tackles with one tackle for loss and one sack, while Cody Robinson registered another five tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
In his inaugural game, Thomas completed 23 of 41 pass attempts for 189 yards to go with four rushes for 22 yards and a touchdown. Kenzee Jackson caught six of Thomas’ passes for 83 yards.
Wake Forest’s John Wolford completed 12 of 22 passes for 97 yards with one interception. Matt James, E.J. Scott and Cam Serigne each caught three passes for 40 yards, 32 yards and 18 yards, respectively. Orville Reynolds added 38 rushing yards on 16 attempts.
Brandon Chubb led the Demon Deacons with 18 tackles, while Anthony Wooding and Maquel Lee both amassed 12 stops. Ryan Janvion chipped in 11 tackles of his own, including 0.5 tackles for loss.
Wake Forest went three-and-out on their first possession, but the Demon Deacons were able to jump on the board first after Kevin Johnson picked up a blocked punt in the end zone. The extra point by Mike Weaver gave Wake Forest a 7-0 lead with 12:10 left in the first quarter.
Donald marched the ball steadily down the field on the Warhawks’ next possession and garnered three first downs for the home team, but the ball was turned over on downs as the Demon Deacons took possession on their own 34 yard line.
After receiving the ball on their own four yard line, the Demon Deacons gained a first down as Orville Reynolds rushed for six yards and James added 10 yards of his own, but a personal foul penalty two plays later pushed Wake Forest back to the 10 yard line.
On the next snap, ULM’s Stovall captured his first sack of the season as he tackled Wolford on the Wake Forest one yard line, giving the Demon Deacons a third and 29 situation. After an incomplete pass on their next play, Wake Forest was forced to punt.
The ball went back and forth for the next few possessions with both teams coming up short on each. Weaver tacked on a field goal with 43 seconds left in the half to give the Demon Deacons a 10-0 lead heading into the locker room for the break.
After forcing Wake Forest’s ninth three-and-out, the Warhawks marched 83 yards down the field in 16 plays to set up a 30 yard Manton field goal and put the home team on the board. With these points, ULM cut the deficit to 10-3 with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
Up 17-10 in the fourth quarter, the Warhawks continued to pressure the Demon Deacons with their run game. A 39 yard run on second down landed the Warhawks on the Wake Forest 24 yard line, while a nine yard run by Cain placed the ball on the 15 yard line. The ULM offense kept control of the ball as time expired to give ULM the victory.
ULM will aim for another victory Sept. 6 as they host Idaho at 6:00 p.m. for Military Appreciation Day. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN3.
12:10: WF – 25 yard blocked punt return by Kevin Johnson (Weaver, M XP), WF 7-0
00:43: WF – 38 yard field goal by Mike Weaver, 9-45-3:24, WF 10-0
4:50: ULM – 30 yard field goal by Justin Manton, 16-38-7:01, WF 10-3
4:02: ULM – 31 yard interception return by Mitch Lane (Manton, J. XP), Tied 10-10
3:37: ULM – 9 yard rushing touchdown by Pete Thomas (Manton, J. XP), 12-66-5:47, ULM 17-10