Alabama A&M, North Alabama renew football rivalry

NORMAL, Ala. -- For the first time since 1997, Alabama A&M and North Alabama will meet on the football field.

In Saturday night's win over Miles College, Alabama A&M posted its first shutout in six years, making a statement, and holding Miles to just 115 total yards.

This weekend against UNA, the stage will be a bit bigger. The Bulldogs will have their hands full with UNA quarterback Christian Lopez who totaled 455 yards and four touchdowns in the Lions win.

"What I hear he's an amazing athlete and I just want him to perform to his best ability," said Alabama A&M Linebacker Yurik Bethune. "I want him at 100% because we're going to attack him nonstop."

"Yeah, he had over 450 yards total offense. He's a beast," said Alabama A&M Head Coach Connell Maynor. "So we have to get some pressure on him, we need the d-line to get some pressure on him and make him uncomfortable and then when he do run, we go to lay the wood to him and let him feel it."

As for the Lions, they made history in their win over Southern Utah, picking up their first FCS victory.

For Coach Chris Willis and the Lions, Saturday is big, and they're excited to be renewing their rivalry with A&M.

"You know we're 80 miles apart and that needs to be on the schedule in my opinion," said Willis. "Just to go right up the road to play a game, and I look forward to it. Our kids are going to really like playing in front of a big crowd. I think they had 12,000 for the Miles game, I could imagine it would be more for our game, so we look forward to it and just the fact that we don't really have to go too far and we can stay at home Friday night and get up Saturday and travel over."

The much-anticipated showdown will kick off at 6 p.m. at Louis Crews Stadium.