BLOG: WKU 36, ASU 35 (Final — OT)

Follow along with the Herald’s coverage as WKU (1-8, 1-4 Sun Belt Conference) takes on Arkansas state (4-5, 4-2 Sun Belt) in Jonesboro, Ark., at 2 p.m. CT Saturday.

Herald Staff

Follow along with the Herald’s coverage as WKU (1-8, 1-4 Sun Belt Conference) takes on Arkansas state (4-5, 4-2 Sun Belt) in Jonesboro, Ark., at 2 p.m. CT Saturday.

WKU 36, ASU 35 — Final

You’re reading this one right, folks. WKU answers ASU’s score with a touchdown run by Bobby Rainey. WKU then made a gutsy call and decided to go for a two-point conversion and the win.

Junior cornerback Derrius Brooks — a former receiver — scored on a reverse, and the Tops get a win with a risky decision.

We’ll have plenty of coverage of WKU’s second win of the season at later.

ASU 35, WKU 28 — OT

Ryan Aplin scores on the first play, a 26-yard run. Now WKU must answer.

WKU 28, ASU 28 — End 4th

What a crazy turn of events. WKU comes up empty on what appeared to be its last chance, but ASU oversnaps the punter on 4th down and gives WKU the ball at the ASU 22-yard line.

Kawaun Jakes eventually found Willie McNeal for a 7-yard touchdown pass on 4th down, and this one’s going to overtime. Crazy.

ASU 28, WKU 21 — 1:49 4th

It looks like WKU has let another multiple-score lead get away in the fourth quarter. Ryan Aplin works his way right down the field — 96 yards — in just over 2 minutes, scoring on a 2-yard TD run.

WKU has the ball with about a minute and a half with one last chance to tie this game.

WKU 21, ASU 21 — 8:17 4th

And there goes the lead. Ryan Aplin connects with Dwayne Frampton for a touchdown pass in the red zone, and this one’s now tied with 8 minutes to go.

WKU has the ball now, but the Toppers haven’t historically been very good in this scenario.

It took about just seven minutes for ASU to melt away WKU’s two-score lead.

WKU 21, ASU 14 — 10:34 4th

WKU has a lightning-quick three-and-out, and ASU returned the punt to almost midfield. We’ve seen the Toppers in this situation so many times before when it hasn’t ended well, but the defense has been stellar so far.

WKU 21, ASU 14 — 12:17 4th

The Red Wolves moved 69 yards quickly for a touchdown, which came on a 15-yard pass from Ryan Aplin to receiver Taylor Stockemer. The catch was Stockemer’s second TD of the day.

That was way to fast for the WKU defense, as Aplin carved his way right down the field.

As we’ve said several times in this second half, let’s see if the offense can grind some time off the clock. Lots of time left on that scoreboard.

WKU 21, ASU 7 — End 3rd

The WKU defense forced ASU to punt on its next drive, and the Toppers will try to put this one out of reach when the fourth quarter begins.

Bobby Rainey started the drive with a 15-yard run, and he’s well over 100 yards rushing now.

Interesting watching how the WKU offense has calmed down with WKU doing everything under the sun behind it. Also interesting to watch the rise of receiver Dexter Haynes after WKU lost leading receiver Marcus Vasquez last week.

WKU 21, ASU 7 — 2:46 3rd

This one’s turned into a circus. Kawaun Jakes connected with receiver Dexter Haynes for a 33-yard touchdown, giving WKU a two-score lead.

The drive was set up by a second interception by corner Derrius Brooks. ASU now has five turnovers today.

The fourth turnover was a fumble forced by Orlando Misaalefua and recovered by Jared Clendenin. Kawaun Jakes hooked up with Haynes immediately for a 39-yard gain, but he then fumbled the ball and lost it at the ASU 1.

Luckily, Brooks and the WKU defense were there to make yet another play. Banner day for this always-improving WKU D.

WKU 14, ASU 7 — 9:26 3rd

WKU makes another play for itself, forcing Ryan Aplin into another fumble that sophomore defensive tackle Jamarcus Allen recovered at the ASU 10-yard line.

Kawaun Jakes scored on a 3-yard quarterback keeper three plays later, and WKU has a 14-7 lead.

Big-time play by the WKU defense, which is shouldering the load for a floundering Topper offense right now.

WKU 7, ASU 7 — Half

WKU, as it has all year, puts itself in good position to score and comes away empty-handed.

Junior cornerback Derrius Brooks intercepted ASU’s Aplin at the WKU 1-yard line, and the Toppers moved all the way to the ASU 29-yard line in 16 plays and over eight minutes.

WKU faced a 4th-and-9 situation at the 29, but instead of kicking a 46-yard field goal, the Toppers went for it, and Kawaun Jakes was sacked with less than 20 seconds remaining.

Not the best sign of confidence from Willie Taggart to his two kickers, Casey Tinius and Monte Merrick.

Astonishing stat — WKU had the ball for 23 of the 30 minutes played in the first half but somehow still finds itself just tied. ASU also managed to outgain the Toppers, 184-132.

Bobby Rainey had 64 carries on 19 carries. Kawaun Jakes completed just 3 of 9 passes for 17 yards.

ASU’s Ryan Aplin completed 10 of 16 passes for 106 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

WKU 7, ASU 7 — 10:33 2nd

WKU ties the game with a 3-yard touchdown run by Bobby Rainey. That drive took 15 plays and lasted over seven minutes.

That was a much more solid drive for the Toppers, converting both a big third down and a crucial fourth-down situation.

WKU has to be encouraged to see its offense finally string something together. Now we’ll see if the defense can answer.

ASU 7, WKU 0 — End 1st

WKU ends the first quarter with the ball at ASU’s 33-yard line on 2nd down.

The Toppers went for it on 4th-and-1 earlier on the drive and converted with a short run by Bobby Rainey.

ASU 7, WKU 0 — 3:09 1st

The Red Wolves go 99 yards in just over two minutes to take an early lead. The big play of the drive was a 30-run by Derek Lawson at ASU’s own 1-yard line.

Quarterback Ryan Aplin finished the drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Taylor Stockemer.

WKU squandered an opportunity on the previous drive, having to punt after Jared Clendenin recovered a fumble at the ASU 26-yard line.

WKU 0, ASU 0 — 10:34 1st

Both teams come up with nothing on their first drives, and ASU will have the ball for its second try.

WKU got nothing going on its first possession, ending the drive with quarterback Kawaun Jakes getting sacked on 3rd-and-13.

Pregame: WKU wins the coin toss and defers to the second half, so the Toppers’ defense will take the field first.

The Daily News’ Micheal Compton is reporting from Jonesboro, Ark., that both sophomore tight end Jack Doyle and freshman safety Kiante Young are out for today’s game.

Doyle, WKU’s second leading receiver, has missed the last two games with a nagging neck injury. Young sprained an ankle in last week’s game against Florida Atlantic and missed practice this week.

The Toppers are also without leading receiver Marcus Vasquez, who broke his collarbone against FAU and is out for the season.

One piece of good news from earlier in the week was that Head Coach Willie Taggart said he expected WKU to have junior safety Mark Santoro back from a neck injury. Taggart said Santoro would likely play in the game but wouldn’t start.