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CLINTON, Miss. (WHNT) - The University of Alabama scored 45 points in the first half and rolled to a 58-0 blowout win over Mississippi College at Robinson-Hale Stadium to open the 2014 season.
Mississippi College, coming back to the Gulf South Conference after 18 years in NCAA Division III, managed just 24 total yards in the first half. North Alabama’s offense rolled up 387 yards on 55 plays and scored on seven of its eight possessions.
It was UNA’s 12th consecutive season-opening win and the victory over the Choctaws gives UNA the all-time lead in the series 15-14-2.
North Alabama gained 469 yards of total offense in the game with 329 rushing and 140 passing. MC was held to 151 total yards and turned the ball over three times.
UNA took the opening kickoff and marched 76 yards on nine plays to take the lead. Luke Wingo passed four yards to Dajzon Dukes for the touchdown and Taylor Pontius added the extra-point to make it 7-0 with 11:52 left in the first quarter.
The touchdown marked the third straight season that UNA has scored a touchdown on its season-opening drive.
After a lost fumble halted the Lions second possession, UNA covered 40 yards in four plays for its next score. Back-up quarterback Jacob Tucker hit Korey Jones with an 18-yard pass and Pontius PAT made it 14-0 with 3:09 left in the opening period.
Freshman Hagan Scott caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Wingo for UNA’s third score to cap a three-play, 30-yard drive. Pontius kick made it 21-0 at 1:56 of the first quarter.
On a third-and-10 call from UNA’s own 45, Wingo scrambled left and then went 55 yards for a touchdown with just 14 seconds left in the period. It was the longest run of his three-year career at UNA. Pontius kick made it 28-0.
Tucker found the end zone on a four-yard run with 8:40 left in the second quarter to push UNA’s advantage to 35-0 and junior transfer running back Tahj Kimble scored his first TD as a Lion on a three-yard run with 6:05 left in the half.
UNA’s final score of the half came on a 25-yard Pontius field goal to cap a 48-yard drive led by freshman quarterback Jacob Tucker.
The Lions 45 points in the half were just three shy of the school record for a half at 48, set against Harding in 2008.
Mississippi College got its first scoring opportunity on the opening drive of the second half but Tyler Poe’s 38-yard field goal attempt went wide right and UNA held on to its 45 point lead and shutout.
The North Alabama defense got in on the scoring act in the third quarter as Jalan Jones recovered a Choctaw fumble and returned it for a touchdown with 4:31 left in the period. Kevin Henke missed on the extra-point attempt but it pushed UNA’s lead to 51-0.
After another fumble recovery by the Lions, Tucker led UNA on a 42-yard scoring drive that was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Diamond Simmons. Henke’s PAT extended UNA’s lead to 58-0.
Kimble led UNA with 68 yards rushing on 14 carries. Wingo was 8-for-11 passing for 88 yards and two scores.
North Alabama hosts Langston on Sept. 20 at Braly Stadium at 7 p.m. It will be the first of three consecutive home games for the Lions.
Courtesy: UNA media relations