UNA football season comes to an end

The UNA football team’s season came to an end Saturday as the Lions fell to Delta State in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

The Lions got the rematch they had been waiting for ever since the heartbreaking loss earlier in the season to Delta State in overtime, but the Statesmen proved too much the second time around as the Lions fell in a rout of 42-14.

“It was an undeniable win for Delta State as they beat us in all phases of the game,” said head coach Terry Bowden. “They just played well on both sides of the ball. We got the momentum early, but once they got going, we couldn’t contain them.”

The Lions had no answer on defense, as Delta State for the game finished with 466 yards of total offense, allowing 252 on the ground and 214 through the air.

“They came out with a different change in their offense and it really caught us off guard,” said senior linebacker Tommie Westbrook. “I knew they were big upfront, but I was surprised on how they beat us in the front seven.”

Delta State jumped on the board first as Micah Davis completed a 60-yard pass to Chance Dennis to put the Statesmen up 7-0 with 14:02 left in the first. The Lions answered back by tying the game up at seven with a two-yard touchdown run from Antwan Ivey.

Later in the quarter, the Lions had a third and 10 on their own 16-yard line when Lee Chapple found Jason Smith for a 84-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 14-7.

After that point, the Statesmen put a pair of scoring drives together to give the Statesmen a 21-14 lead going into the half. The first came from Davis with an 8-yard touchdown run and the second with a touchdown pass from Davis to Jacob Sesma from three yards.

The Lions received the opening second half kickoff, but could not get back in the game by going three and out. The Statesmen then added to their lead the following drive as the defense still could not contain the DSU offense.

Davis completed his second touchdown pass and third touchdown of the game with a 20-yard pass to Avery Horn making the score 28-14. The Lions then started to move the ball on offense until Chapple was hit while he was throwing the ball and DSU returned it to UNA at 20.

DSU took advantage of the turnover by scoring another touchdown and ending any hope of a comeback as Richard Freelon raced it in from 10 yards making the score 35-14.

Delta State then got the final score of the game in the fourth quarter, following a short punt by the Lions with a Brant Botill 19-yard touchdown run making the final score 42-14.

Chapple was 20 of 38 for 238 yards for the Lions and Tristan Purifoy caught nine passes for 103 yards. Davis, for DSU, was 17 of 24 for 214 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown.