Lance Parker connected with Julius Pruitt for the game-tying touchdown and then found Jeremy Young for the 2-point conversation as the Ouachita Baptist University football team outlasted West Alabama, 45-43, in three overtimes during Senior Day in a Gulf South Conference game at A.U. Williams Field.
Ouachita (6-3 overall, 4-3 GSC) led 10-7 at the half, but both teams did plenty of scoring in the second half.
OBU, which won their sixth game for the first time since the 1985 season, made it a 10-point game with 11 minutes left in the third quarter when John Johnson scored on a 1-yard run, capping 7-play, 36-yard drive.
West Alabama (4-6, 2-5) cut the margin to 17-14 after Dameon Baylor, who had 160 yards on 29 carries, scored on a 1-yard run with 6:57 left in the third. Ouachita answered with a 6-play, 66-yard drive as Parker scored on a 15-yard run to give OBU a 24-14 advantage.
Back came West Alabama, which had 361 yards on 60 rushes, as Baylor again scored on a 1-yard run with 2:45 left in the third as OBU led 24-21. Zach Wright booted a 25-yard field goal with 11:59 remaining to give Ouachita a 37-21, but West Alabama struck right back.
Terry Allen, who finished with 164 yards on 13 carries, went 85 yards to give West Alabama its first lead of the second half at 28-27. Ouachita went 77 yards on eight plays in its next drive with Wright kicking a 20-yard field goal to give OBU a 30-28 advantage with 8:17 left.
After forcing West Alabama to punt, Ouachita was forced to start play at its own 3 and K.J. Johnson was tackled in the end zone for the safety, tying the game at 30 with 3:59 remaining.
Wright’s game-winning field goal in regulation was blocked as the game went into overtime tied at 30.
Neither team was able to score in the first overtime, and Ouachita got the ball to begin the second overtime.
John Johnson gave Ouachita a 37-30 lead on a 1-yard run, but Cole Mason’s 2-yard run tied the game, forcing a third overtime.
Baylor added to his four touchdown day with a 2-yard run to give West Alabama a 43-37 lead. However, the 2-point conversation failed. Ouachita answered with Parker, who was 27-of-40 for 348 yards, to Pruitt for 13 yards. The 2-point conversation from Parker to Young gave Ouachita the 45-43 victory
Ouachita opened the game with the football and went 38 yards in 10 plays with Wright booting a 45-yard field goal with 10:16 remaining in the first quarter.
West Alabama coughed the ball up on its first possession, but Wright’s 37-yarder was wide left and West Alabama took advantage by going 80 yards in 11 plays with Baylor going off right tackle and 16 yards into the end zone with 1:31 left in the first to grab a 7-3 lead.
Ouachita put together a solid drive going 72 yards in just eight plays, helped by a 67-yard pass completion from Parker to Pruitt as John Johnson scored on a 2-yard run to put OBU in front, 10-7 with 13:15 left in the first half.
West Alabama had a chance to tie the contest with 6:26 remaining in the second quarter, but Mitch Warfield’s 30-yard field goal was wide right, keeping Ouachita in front, 10-7.
K.J. Johnson paced Ouachita’s ground game with 149 yards on 31 carries. Pruitt led all receivers with 10 catches for 180 yards,
Terrence Garrett led the Ouachita defense with 13 tackles, while Jerry McNeil and Bryan Church had eight and seven, respectively.
The three-overtime Ouachita win was the first since the 2003 season against Southeastern Oklahoma State. Ouachita has now scored more than 30 points in four straight games, including back-to-back 45-point contests.
Prior to the game, Ouachita honored 14 seniors –Eric Butler, Tyler Butler, Frank Espy, John Johnson, Chris McAlpine, Robert McKee, Josh Mills, Jerrad Nutt, Parker, Jimmy Pinkney, Pruitt, Bob Ruffing, Antwon Thompson and Wright.
The Tigers conclude the regular season 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6 in the “Battle of the Ravine” at rival Henderson State. The game can be heard on the Ouachita Football Network through the following stations: Arkadelphia (KYXK-FM 106.9); Hot Springs (KBHS-AM 1420); Magnolia (KVMA-AM 630); El Dorado (KELD-FM 106.5); Nashville (KNAS-FM 105.5); Mena (KQOR-FM 105.3) or on the web at: mms://rain.obu.edu/tigerathletics/