Hatcher, Bonner throw for 3 TDs each, Arkansas State wins

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Layne Hatcher and Logan Bonner each threw three touchdown passes and Arkansas State won its home opener, 50-27, over FCS opponent Central Arkansas on Saturday.

Bonner was 11 of 19 with 239 yards passing and Hatcher 10 of 19 for 153 yards. The three TDs each by the alternating quarterbacks was a program first. Jonathan Adams had 101 yards receiving and two TDs and Dahu Green 94 yards and two scores.

After two Central Arkansas touchdowns narrowed Arkansas State’s lead to 16 in the fourth quarter, Bonner’s third scoring toss of the day, a 56-yarder to Corey Rucker down the left sideline with 5:14 left, ensured the outcome.

The Wolves used big-yardage plays to set up scores in their 20-point third quarter with Bonner throwing for two scores and Hatcher one to lead 43-13.

After a first quarter in the wind and rain that ended with the Bears (2-3) leading 3-2, the teams combined for 31 points in the second quarter, 28 coming in the final six minutes of the first half that ended with Central Arkansas (2-2) leading 23-13. The Wolves’ scoring included a 60-yard interception return by Samy Johnson and a Brandon Bowling TD catch in which he was upended by a defender and somersaulted into the end zone.

Breylin Smith finished 24 of 49 for 302 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions for the Bears. Tyler Hudson had 154 yards receiving and Lujuan Winningham caught three TD passes, one on a halfback throw by Marshun Douglas.

The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 19 but postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak among Arkansas State players that depleted certain positions. The Red Wolves are limiting attendance to 12,000 in their 30,000-seat stadium.

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