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Razorbacks get back on track with 45-3 win over UA-Pine Bluff in Little Rock

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | October 23, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
Arkansas receiver Ketron Jackson Jr. (2) makes a touchdown catch in front of University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff defensive back Nathan Seward (12) during the first half in Little Rock on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (AP/Michael Woods)

The University of Arkansas broke a three-game losing streak at the expense of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Arkansas (5-3) got four first-half touchdown passes from KJ Jefferson on its way to a 45-3 victory over the Golden Lions (1-6) in the Razorbacks' first game against an in-state opponent since 1943.

Jefferson's first touchdown pass went to Blake Kern for 18 yards to give the Razorbacks a 7-0 lead on their opening possession. Two of Jeffferson's scoring throws went to Treylon Burks, covering 18 and 39 yards in the second quarter. Burks ran for 49 yards for another score on the Razorbacks' second possession.

Leading 24-0, Nathan Parodi returned a punt 80 yards for a score to put the Razorbacks up 31-0 with 6:50 left in the second quarter.

Jefferson, who found Ketron Jackson Jr. for a 29- yard touchdown with 2:59 left before half, finished 10-of-17 passing for 194 yards to go with his 4 TD throws. The Razorbacks also got 91 yards on 6 carries (15.2 ypc) from Dominique Johnson. Burks led all receivers with 89 yards and the 2 scores on 4 catches.

Arkansas turned it over mainly to reserves in the second half, as the Golden Lions avoided the shutout when Zack Piwniczka made a 32-yard field goal with 6:34 left in the fourth quarter.

UAPB, which lost its sixth consecutive game, had two good scoring chances in the first half, but could not covert. Piwniczka missed a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter, then Arkansas' Myles Slusher intercepted Skyler Perry's pass in the end zone on third down from the Arkansas 3 early in the second quarter to end a UAPB threat.

The Razorbacks finished with 504 yards of total offense. They had 291 yards on 41 rushing attempts (7.1 ypc) but also lost a pair of fumbles.

UAPB led 36:18-23:42 in time of possession, but the Golden Lions were just 1 of 13 (8%) on third-down conversions. The Arkansas defense held UAPB to 223 yards of total offense (112 passing, 111 rushing).

Perry led UAPB's offense, completing 7 of 18 passes for 107 yards. Daemon Dawkins caught two of those passes for a team-high 49 receiving yards.

Arkansas will be off next week before returning to SEC action on Nov. 6 when Mississippi State comes to Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

First Quarter

ARKANSAS 17, UAPB 0

UAPB won the toss and deferred and KJ Jefferson ran for 11 on the fist play. UAPB drew a hands-to-the-face penalty. Warren Thompson couldn’t haul in a 32-yard bomb in the end zone. Blake Kern caught an 18-yard TD. The Golden Lions went 3 and out. Treylon Burks took a jet sweep at RE for a 49-yard TD. Dae’eion Dawkins caught a 42-yard deep shot. Skyler Perry ran for 10 to the 16. Joe Foucha and Myles Slusher had a combo sack for 8 yards. Zack Piwniczka missed a 37-yard FG. Burks had a 20-yard reception before the Hogs punted. UAPB went 3 and out. Nathan Parodi’s 33-yard punt return was wiped out by a holding penalty. Raheim Sanders had 2 runs for 13 yards, then De’Vion Warren had 3 touches for 30 yards. Burks’ 12-yard catch reached the UAPB 14. Jalon Thigpen had a big tackle in the hole, Monroe Beard III a quarterback Hurry and Nathan Seward a PBU as UAPB held. Cam Little booted a 31-yard FG. Kierre Crossley broke a 28-yard run at left end to convert 3rd and 9 to the Hogs’ 46.

Second Quarter

ARKANSAS 45, UAPB 0

QB Skyler Perry ran 12 yards on 3rd and 13. A false start on 4th and 1 changed Doc Gamble’s mind and UAPB punted to the 9. KJ Jefferson scrambled up the middle and Zion Farmer forced a fumbled that was recovered by DeCarlo Hamilton at the Hogs’ 33. Josh Wilkes caught a 13-yard pass with roughing the passer on John Ridgeway tacked on. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Perry’s pass on a flood route was intercepted in the end zone by Myles Slusher. Dominique Johnson broke for 34 yards to the 39. Johnson had two more runs for 33 yards and Jefferson a 10-yard keeper. On 3rd and 10, Treylon Burks caught a slant and dove over the plane for an 18-yard TD. The Golden Lions went 3 and out. Nathan Parodi returned the punt 80 yards for a score. Zach Williams sacked Xvavier Vaughn for a 7-yard loss. Jefferson hit De’Vion Warren for 26 yards, then dropped in a 29-yard TD to Ketron Jackson Jr. The Lions went 3 and out. On 4th and 4, Jefferson found Burks for a 39-yard TD. The Golden Lions ran out the clock.

Third Quarter

ARKANSAS 45, UAPB 0

The Golden Lions went 3 and out and Bryce Stephens returned the Josh Sanchez punt 27 yards to the UAPB 44. T.J. Hammonds fumbled and Jalon Thigpen recovered for the Golden Lions. Xzavier Vaughn threw deep and Malik Chavis notched his first career interception. AJ Green had a 29-yard burst into UAPB territory. Dominique Johnson went 11 yards on 2 plays to reach the 34. Kailon Davis had a strip-sack on Malik Hornsby, which Hudson Henry recovered for a 17-yard loss. Jaquayln Crawford had a 19-yard catch. Hornsby overthrew wide-open Raheim Sanders on 4th and 3. Kierre Crossley had a 13-yard run. Pass interference on Khari Johnson put the ball on the Arkansas 44. UAPB went for it on 4th and 5 and drew pass interference on Malik Chavis. The Golden Lions went on 4th and 4 and Andrew Parker had a 5-yard sack. UAPB’s Torrence Bardell tackled Green for a 1-yard loss. Malik Hornsby scrambled for 3 yards on the final play of the scoreless quarter, which was reduced to 12 minutes.

Fourth Quarter

ARKANSAS 45, UAPB 3

Dalyn Hill’s 5-yard run moved the chains to the UAPB 35. On 2nd and 12, Skyler Perry found Hill across the deep middle for a 32-yard reception to the Arkansas 35. Hill rushed for 15 yards. The Golden Lions stalled at the 15-yard line. Arkansas called timeout before Zack Piwiniczka put a 32-yard FG through the uprights. The UAPB kickoff skipped off AJ Green’s shin and he won a scrum for the recovery at the 18. Malik Hornsby attacked right end for a 15-yard gain. Kailon Davis and Rylan Woods had back-to-back tackles for loss on Green before Hornsby threw incomplete on third down under pressure. UAPB had 12 men on the field during the punt. The Golden Lions went 3 and out with Omar Allen getting a couple of runs and Xzavier Vaughn back in at quarterback. Josh Sanchez punted 47 yards to the Arkansas 19 where Bryce Stephens made the fair catch. Green had three carries for 0, 2 and 0 yards. The Razorbacks ran out the 12-minute quarter clock and did not score in the second half.

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