America's team? After 1st game, Central Arkansas reports no COVID positives, prepares for 2nd game in a week
Central Arkansas is on its way to becoming America’s team.
The Bears knocked off Austin Peay 24-17 on Saturday night, and then on Sunday, they were tested for COVID-19 at 8 a.m. ahead of their Thursday matchup with UAB. All 72 players, as well as coaches and staff, were tested and they all came back negative Monday afternoon, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. For the football-starved country, especially the Southeast, having college football back was a welcome arrival.
The winning score was a 10-yard catch by Lujuan Winningham from Breylin Smith with 34 seconds left in college football’s first game of the COVID-19 pandemic. Central Arkansas then converted a two-point conversion.
That capped an exciting game that opened with a 75-yard touchdown by CJ Evans of Austin Peay on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
The game was played in Montgomery, Alabama at the Cramton Bowl, which allowed only 2,000 fans to attend Saturday’s game. They sat spread out in small family groups. The public address reminded them often to stay socially distanced and wear their masks at all times, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
The AD-G noted that the 100 percent negative results is significant in terms of the future of the college football season, though the Bears aren’t out of the woods yet. UCA will be tested again Tuesday morning in accordance with UAB’s conference guidelines that teams must be tested twice before playing.
UCA and UAB will play at 7 p.m. Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama on ESPN3.