One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Wonder Boys Football Players and Coach

PHOTO | Tara Espinoza

After starting season 1-1, the Wonder Boys find themselves in a familiar spot. Through four games, they are 1-3 following a 35-14 loss in Monticello to the Boll Weevils.

Saturday’s game seemed to end after just the first play. Tech quarterback Taye Gatewood threw an interception to UA-Monticello defensive back Kaytron Allen. Six plays later, the Weevils find the end zone for a touchdown.

Three plays into the second offensive drive for Tech, Gatewood throws another interception. This time UA-Monticello defensive back DeQuan Street recorded the pick. 11 plays after the interception, and Monticello scored again.

Before Gatewood and the Wonder Boys could blink, they were trailing 14-0. Historically, Tech has not been a comeback-type team under head coach Kyle Shipp. The Wonder Boys have won just one game when trailing by more than 10 points under Shipp, defeating Southwestern Oklahoma in 2019, 36-35, after trailing 35-20.

Tech bounced back in the second quarter with 14 of their own points to tie the game at the half at 14-14.

Monticello controlled the third quarter as they restored their two-possession lead with a pair of touchdowns. Both possessions leading to touchdowns started with arguably good field position, the Tech 48-yard line, and the Monticello 31-yard line.

Tech never seemed to establish any offense in the second half. They had six second-half possessions; three ended in interceptions, two with punts, and the final with the clock hitting zeroes in the fourth quarter. The Boll Weevils would add a touchdown in the fourth quarter and win the game 35-14.

Gatewood ended the game with 45 passing yards, the fewest for him this season, and seven completions on 19 attempts.

This Saturday, Tech meets up with Southern Nazarene at Thone Stadium. The Wonder Boys lead the all-time series 7-1, with SNU’s only win coming in 2019.