UNA Dominates Shorter 41-0
ROME, Ga. – The University of North Alabama’s defense turned in a dominating performance and the UNA offense scored a season-high 41 points as the Lions downed Shorter 41-0 in a Gulf South Conference game at Barron Stadium.
North Alabama’s defense held Shorter’s rushing attack to just 107 yards on 50 carries in recording the shutout. It was UNA’s first defensive shutout since defeating Shorter by an identical 41-0 score last season. Shorter managed just 178 total yards.
The UNA offense, meanwhile, rolled up 469 yards, rushing for 237 and passing for 232. Luke Wingo completed eight-of-15 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown. Backup quarterback Jacob Tucker, seeing his first significant action of the season, completed six-of-12 passes for 103 yards and also rushed for a team-high 82 yards and two touchdowns.
With the win, North Alabama improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the GSC. Shorter is 0-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
The UNA offense dominated the first half but managed just 17 points after turning the ball over twice deep in Shorter territory. The Lions also had three costly personal foul penalties in the first half, one of which negated a defensive touchdown.
UNA scored on its first possession, driving 81 yards in just four plays. After Wingo threw a 13-yard pass to Lamonte Thompson to move the ball out to the UNA 45-yard line, Wingo hit Jason Smith with a 55-yard touchdown strike. Will Craig’s extra-point made it 7-0 with 8:39 left in the first quarter.
After a defensive stop, UNA also scored on its second possession. The Lions drove 29 yards to the Hawks’ 25 before Craig came on and hit a 42-yard field goal to make it 10-0 at 2:42 of the first quarter.
UNA squandered a scoring opportunity midway through the second quarter as the Lions, led by Tucker, drove from their own 29 to the Shorter four before Chris Coffey mishandled a snap in the wildcat formation and Shorter’s Santavious Bryant recovered.
UNA got the ball back but Wingo was picked off at the Shorter 25 with just 1:48 left in the half. On the next play North Alabama’s Nick Williams recovered a Shorter fumble in the end zone but the Lions were called for a personal foul and Shorter retained possession of the ball. The UNA defense held and forced a punt and freshman Philbert Martial returned the kick 49 yards to set UNA up in Shorter territory. The Lions scored seven plays later on a two-yard run by Wingo around left end as the half expired. The play was setup by a pass interference call against Shorter in the end zone. Craig’s PAT extended UNA’s lead to 17-0 at the half.
The UNA defense held Shorter to just 80 total yards in the first half, while the Lions picked up 217.
North Alabama immediately took control of the second half, driving 66 yards in nine plays to score on the opening possession of the half. Chris Coffey capped the drive with a two-yard run and Craig’s PAT made it 24-0 at 11:34 of the third quarter. Coffey carried five times for 48 yards on the drive.
Two possessions later UNA scored again after a nine-play, 65-yard drive. The Lions drive stalled after a bad snap from center resulted in a 28-yard loss but Craig’s eventual 30-yard field goal made it 27-0 at 13:26 of the fourth quarter.
The Lions’ next score came on a four-play, 51-yard drive after Taylor Carney recovered a Shorter fumble at the UNA 49. Tucker scored on a six-yard keeper up the middle and Craig added the PAT to make it 34-0 at 7:23 of the fourth quarter.
The final score of the game came on another TD run by Tucker, this one from three yards out, with 1:44 left in the game. Craig’s PAT made the final count 41-0.
North Alabama hosts West Georgia on Saturday, October 12 at 6 p.m. at Braly Stadium as the Lions celebrate Homecoming.
Courtesy: UNA Media Relations