Lions cruise to homecoming victory over Braves

Senior running back Diamond Simmons breaks a tackle on his was to the end zone in a 62-28 homecoming victory for UNA. Simmons led the Lions with 117 yards and three touchdowns.

UNA (5-1, 3-0) ran away with a 62-28 homecoming win over the University of North Carolina-Pembroke (4-2, 3-0). It was the first time since 2009 the Lions scored over 60 points in a game.

“It was a good victory,” said head coach Bobby Wallace. “We got to play a lot of our players and have fun.”

The crucial victory came a week after UNA lost 24-22 to Western Oregon (4-3, 2-1) on the road.

“What makes it cool is we stayed together,” said senior running back Diamond Simmons. “We overcame the loss last week, we didn’t break down and we didn’t panic.”

The Lions jumped out to a 28-7 lead in the first quarter. UNA scored two touchdown passes by senior quarterback Luke Wingo and two touchdown runs from Simmons.

UNA added three touchdowns in the second quarter for a 48-14 lead heading into halftime. The Lions scored 14 seconds into the quarter on a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by junior Levi Fell.

Wingo threw a one-yard pass to Ryan Harper with 8:01 left in the half for the Lions’ second touchdown of the quarter. UNA’s third touchdown came on a 31-yard run by Simmons.

Each team scored two touchdowns in the second half to cap the scoring.

The Lions were able to bring in the second string halfway through the third quarter.

“The young guys did some good things out there,” Wallace said. “It was fun to watch.”

Wingo ended the game 11 of 14 with four touchdowns and 178 yards passing. Simmons led the Lions in rushing with 117 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.

“This win gave us confidence heading into the big game next week,” Simmons said.

UNA travels to Carrollton, Georgia, to play an undefeated University of West Georgia (7-0, 3-0) squad. Second year coach and former UNA quarterback Will Hall leads the Wolves. The Lions beat UWG last season 31-28.

“Whoever wins with three games left is going to be in a good position to win the conference,” Wallace said.

The game will take place Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. CST.