Lions shock No. 3 West Georgia

Sophomore running back Damon Cox breaks through the tackle of a West Georgia defender Oct. 1 at Braly Stadium. The Lions upset the favored Wolves when redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Hawkins scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the game. Junior kicker Kevin Henke’s extra point put the Lions on top, 24-23.

by Student Writer Ciera Golliver

The UNA football team pulled out a dramatic, last-minute win over No. 3 West Georgia Oct. 1 in Braly Stadium, 24-23.

The Lions won after West Georgia drove the ball down to the UNA 4-yard line and attempted a field goal. UNA had all three timeouts remaining, and used them to ice the Wolves’ kicker.

 The Lions (3-1, 3-0 Gulf South Conference) trailed the Wolves (4-1, 1-1 GSC) 16-3 at halftime, before coming back in the last half.

 “I’m real proud for these kids,” said UNA head coach Bobby Wallace. “They fought and fought the whole 60 minutes. They made the plays to win in the fourth quarter against a great football team, so we’re very proud.”

The Lions started the game off with a 47-yard field goal from senior kicker Kevin Henke. West Georgia responded with one touchdown and three field goals to bring the score to 16-3 heading into the locker room.

Both teams added one touchdown in the third quarter, bringing the score to 23-10.

UNA started the fourth quarter with a 2-yard rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Jacob Tucker to cut West Georgia’s lead to six.

West Georgia had the ball with a score of 23-17, but the UNA defense was able to stop them at the 33-yard line. A missed West Georgia field goal and penalty gave the Lions the ball on the 40-yard line with 4:34 on the clock.

Tucker took the team to the five-yard line, then, had to be replaced by redshirt freshman quarterback Blake Hawkins due to injury. Hawkins took the ball in for a touchdown to tie the game 23-23 with 1:44 on the clock. Henke’s extra point put the Lions on top, 24-23.

“There’s always a ton of pressure especially going in after (Jacob Tucker),” Hawkins said. “Especially him going down like that and me going in to play when he’s hurt, it’s a lot of pressure, and I hope I lived up to it.”

UNA will be back in action Oct. 8 when they visit Florida Tech. The Lions are back in Florence Oct. 15 to play Shorter.