RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Northeastern State University football team could not shake off the pass as Arkansas Tech scored 14 fourth-quarter points to pull away for a 22-3 victory at Thone Stadium on a muggy evening on Thursday evening.

For NSU, it was the sixth straight loss to the Wonder Boys as the RiverHawks drop the first game of the Kenny Evans era.

The RiverHawks’ defense played well in the first half as it held the potent Tech offense to 48 yards on the ground and intercepted Tech quarterback Cole Barthel three times. LaTauras Sykes led the RiverHawks with six tackles and Nick Jones followed with four.

On offense, Kaelin Woods and Kenny Davis led the RiverHawks’ attack. Woods was 6-for-12 for 38 yards, while Davis was 3-4 for 55 yards.

John Kelly rushed for 78 yards on 17 carries and Josh Lewis tallied 51 yards on 12 carries. Damien Henderson led the NSU receivers with 53 yards on two catches and Jarrett Byers caught four passes for 19 yards

The Wonder Boys put the first points on the board as Tech punter Michael Podobnik pinned the RiverHawks inside its own five yard line.

A bobbled snap by NSU’s Kenny Davis led to safety and a 2-0 Wonder Boys advantage.

After stopping the Wonder Boys on the pursuing possession, the RiverHawks went on a six play 15-yard drive that ended with a Jared Homer 43-yard field goal that gave the RiverHawks a 3-2 lead at thehalf.

After winning time of possession battle in the first half, the NSU defense saw plenty of time on the field in the third period.

Tech intercepted a Woods pass on the opening possession of the second half and was returned 31 yards. Tech went on a 10-play 71 yard drive that ended with a Barthel 1-yard plunge to give the Wonder Boys a 8-3 lead after three quarters of play.

Tech held the ball for over nine minutes that wore out a weary RiverHawks defense.

Arkansas Tech used two scoring drives in the fourth quarter that consumed over 12 minutes of the final period to pull away with the 22-3 victory

One bright spot for the RiverHawks was the play of the special teams. Lewis returned two kicks for 50 yards and Kelly had a 40-yard return. Punter Joe Kok’s only punt of the evening went for 40 yards.

Jarrett Byers moved ever closer to the all-time receptions mark, catching eight passes for 45 yards, which leaves him five catches away.

Henderson led the RiverHawks with 72 yards on three catches. John Kelly led all rushers with 91 total yards on 20 carries.

Broderick Mondy led the RiverHawks with nine total tackles followed by Sykes with seven tackles.

The RiverHawks must regroup as it will open up Lone Star Conference crossover action next Saturday as it travels to Stephenville, Texas to take on Tarleton State. Game time is set 7 p.m.

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