MONTICELLO, Ark. - Arkansas-Monticello scored six second half touchdowns to break open a close game and defeat Harding 44-17 on Homecoming Saturday at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Boll Weevil quarterback Scott Buisson passed for 395 yards and two touchdowns and senior wide receiver Jywin Ceaser had 10 catches for 187 yards and touchdown to lead UAM.
Harding (4-5, 2-4 Gulf South Conference) was led by senior quarterback Zac Ross, who completed 16-of-28 passes for 202 yards and a 42-yard touchdown to junior Jordan Watson. Ross also rushed 21 times for 54 yards and a 12-yard touchdown.
The score was tied at 3-3 at halftime, but frequent connections from Buisson to Ceaser kept the ball moving for the Boll Weevils in the second half. Ceaser caught a 36-yard pass that set up a Johnny Polite 5-yard touchdown run that gave UAM a 10-3 lead. Ceaser made a 68-yard reception on the Boll Weevils' next possession that set up a Buisson six-yard touchdown.
Arkansas-Monticello continued its offensive attack in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Casey Cathcart scored from two yards out with 12:23 remaining, the third rushing touchdown of the game for the Boll Weevils. UAM entered the game with only three rushing touchdowns in its first eight games.
Harding got its first touchdown at the 11:54 mark to cut the Arkansas-Monticello advantage to 24-10. Ross hit Watson down the sideline, and Watson scored his first touchdown of the season and 12th receiving touchdown of his career.
More Ceaser followed for UAM as the senior from Marrero, La., caught a 14-yard touchdown pass with 8:32 left. Ross' 12-yard touchdown run followed for Harding to make the score 31-17, but UAM added two more scores in the final 3:30 for its final margin of victory.
UAM (4-5, 3-3) had 593 total yards to 307 for Harding.
Defensively, Harding junior Steve Hudson had a career-high 13 tackles. Senior Josh Jones had 10 tackles, including his first sack of the season, and redshirt freshman Jasper Bodiford had nine tackles.
Harding junior punter Micah Canterbury punted four times, but on his fourth punt, suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game. Ross punted the final four times for the Bisons.
Junior Kyle Young led Harding with 86 all-purpose yards. He rushed three times for seven yards, had 1 reception for 32 yards and returned to kickoffs for 47 yards.
The Bisons are back in action next Saturday at First Security Stadium for Homecoming against Henderson State. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.