The Lions suffered a big loss at the hands of the Delta State Statesmen this Saturday in Cleveland, Miss.
After losing to the Statesmen first in the regular season, this loss was a heartwrenching one.
When DSU scored a touchdown in less than a minute in the first drive of the game, I remember thinking, “Uh oh, this is not the way to start it off!” But UNA was able to answer back with a touchdown, giving the Lion fans hope.
The Lions continued to play well through the first quarter, but by the end of the second quarter they were looking a little shaky.
At the end of the third quarter, the Statesmen were winning 35-14. A touchdown in the first drive of the fourth quarter gave them a 42-14 lead, and the Lions seemed to be coming apart at the seams.
The Lions fans, true as ever, cheered into the fourth quarter. But as the fourth quarter wore on, I saw more and more worried faces on the sidelines and in the stands.
The players were yelling, “I didn’t come this far to lose!” and “Let’s go, O!” I overheard Robbie Burdine giving another player a pep talk, because that player didn’t want to go back on the field.
In the last minute or so of the game, the chaos on the sidelines turned to a quiet disdain. Players bowed their heads, some cried and even the coaches looked exasperated. The same was true of the fans in the stands.
Delta State won 42-14, knocking the Lions out of this year’s playoffs. It was clear how badly the Lions, including myself, wanted this win. I only wish we had gotten it.