North Alabama football pulled out a homecoming victory Saturday night against Florida Tech by a score of 30-7 It was UNA’s defense that changed the momentum for the Lions in the second half of the ball game.
A blocked punt by freshman Will Evans ended up in redshirt sophomore Ja’mal Jackson’s hands and returned it for a 22-yard touchdown.
Senior Dre Hall said that it changed the momentum of the game. Not only the blocked punt, but the multiple interceptions and sacks made by UNA’s defense.
“It feels good to win at home,” Hall said. “It felt really good.”
Junior Jaylin Dailey forced the Panthers to punt twice by sacking quarterback Mark Cato on third and long. Redshirt junior Frank Williams and junior Maurice Burton, Jr. helped out the defense as well, getting at least another sack apiece.
Freshman Christon Taylor, senior Maurice Carnell and junior Chris Johnson all intercepted the ball in the second half. Carnell returned one of his two interceptions 28-yards to give UNA the last touchdown of the game.
This was head coach Chris Willis’ first win at Braly Stadium.
He said they are just taking it one game at a time. He said he is looking to work on before next week’s game is substitution on both sides of the ball.
“We’re wanting to run different packages out there, and we can’t get them on the field for one reason or another,” Willis said. “And then we’ve got to cut back on the foolish penalties, and there’s just no need for them.”
The Lions will travel to Shorter next Saturday Oct. 14.