November 30, 2020

UWG drops first game of 2016

(Florence, AL/ — Saturday night in Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala., the 18th-ranked North Alabama Lions scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, handing the third-ranked West Georgia Wolves a 24-23 loss, the first of the 2016 season for the Wolves.

As a team, the Wolves had a season-high 468 total yards in the contest, including 182 yards rushing and 286 yards passing. Defensively, the Wolves allowed 334 yards, including 222 yards on 20-of-36 from senior quarterback Jacob Tucker. West Georgia had six sacks on the evening, including three from All-American candidate Dylan Donahue, who has had nine sacks in the past three games and has 10 on the year.

West Georgia built a 16-3 halftime lead, with sophomore Devontae Jackson scoring the lone first half touchdown for UWG, a 29-yard rush on the opening drive of the game for UWG. Hunter Heck had three field goals in the half as well, hitting from 34, 25 and 40 yards to complete the first half scoring.

North Alabama struck first in the third quarter, scoring on a five-yard touchdown, then keeping the Wolves at bay with three interceptions. Lamarcus Franks gave the Wolves a 23-10 advantage near the end of the third quarter with a 66-yard rush for a score, the longest of his career and putting him over 100 yards for the first time this season. Franks ended the night with 111 yards rushing on 16 carries.

North Alabama scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, but Will Gardner and the UWG offense blew right back down the field, and with 1.9 seconds left, sent Heck back to the field for an attempt at a game-winning field goal from 22 yards out. Heck’s kick went wide left, sending the UNA sideline into a frenzy.

Junior quarterback Will Gardner was 18-for-29 in the contest with three interceptions and a season-high 286 yards passing on the evening, with his biggest target on the night as wide receiver Deniko Carter, who had the second 100-yard receiving game of the year for the Wolves. Carter had five receptions for 104 yards, one of two receivers to pick up five receptions in the contest. Qa Walker also had five receptions for 86 yards.

West Georgia falls to 4-1 on the year and 1-1 in Gulf South Conference play, while North Alabama moves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 against GSC competition. The Wolves take on Valdosta State on the road next weekend while the Lions travel to Florida Tech.

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