Lions remain undefeated and advance in GSC

Junior defensive back Floyd Jones returns an interception in the third quarter against the University of West Georgia Oct. 25. The Lions won 31-28.

Saturday night brought another epic finish and a nail-biting win for the Lions football team.

With 2:04 left on the clock and down 28-24, junior quarterback Luke Wingo engineered a seven-play, 80-yard game-winning drive to give the Lions a 31-28 victory over the University of West Georgia.

The final play was a nine-yard touchdown pass from Wingo to junior wide receiver Delvon Carpenter.

“I know West Georgia is probably thinking ‘what in the world just happened?’” said head coach Bobby Wallace. “It was just an unbelievable great effort when you needed it.”

Wingo said he was calm going onto the field for the last drive.

“It was one of those drives that you dream of having your entire life,” Wingo said. “We practice the two-minute drill every week, and we know what to do. The guys on the outside made some great plays, and the linemen blocked terrifically. This is just an awesome feeling.”

A 33-yard pass from Wingo to junior Korey Jones on third down set up the Lion’s final play.

“That last drive we were trying to just make plays and when the ball comes to you, make the catch and get out of bounds,” Carpenter said. “Wingo always fights to the end, and I’m glad to be one of his receivers.”

The Wolves took a 28-24 lead with 6:25 left when quarterback Emmanuel Taylor ran a four-yard touchdown. UNA fumbled on the next possession, but the defense forced West Georgia to punt setting up the final drive.

“The whole key to winning the game was the poise and confidence that our players showed after we got behind there at the end with no timeouts,” Wallace said. “There was the great catch by Korey Jones and then Carpenter. Players make those plays, and they did a great job doing it. They deserve all the credit for the win.”

West Georgia scored on the game’s opening possession to give the Wolves a 7-0 lead. It was the first time all season UNA trailed in the first half.

In a tight game featuring nine lead changes, the Lions won their third game of the season by three points or less.

“If you play quarterback and you don’t want the ball (in tight games), then you shouldn’t play quarterback,” Wingo said.

“It’s with playing quarterback and I love those situations, they’re a little too stressful but they’re fun.”

Wallace said Wingo played his worst game in two years but is proud of the way he battled for the win.

“Luke did not play his best game tonight,” Wallace said. “But it is amazing how a winner, when it’s a night that’s not his best night, finds a way to get it done at the end to win the game.”

In a fairly even game across the board the Lions finished with 478 total yards compared to the Wolves 471. Wingo ended the game with 316 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Junior running back Lamonte Thompson had 132 total yards and a touchdown, including a season-high six catches. Freshman wide receiver Dre Hall hauled in five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Junior safety Floyd Jones manned the field for the defense, finishing with seven tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.

No. 3 UNA (7-0, 4-0) will play at No. 20 Delta State (6-1, 4-1) Nov. 1 at 6 p.m.