Fourth-quarter comeback falls short

Lions running back Chris Coffee walks off the field after UNA’s 38-28 loss to Tarleton State at Braly Stadium Nov. 3.

The UNA Lions blundered a fourth-quarter comeback when they allowed the Tarleton State Texans to march the ball 75 yards for a touchdown in the final minutes of the Nov. 3 game at Braly Stadium.

“We put ourselves in the chance to win with four minutes to go in the game, you can’t ask for nothing more than that – (we kicked) the ball out of the back endzone, they’ve got to go 75 yards to score and they did it,” said head coach Bobby Wallace.

After going down 27-14 in the third quarter, the Lions put together back-to-back scoring drives in the fourth quarter, giving them a lead of 28-27 with 4:37 left in the game.

Taylor Pontius’ kickoff put the Texans on their 25 yardline, and, seven plays later, UNA’s defense failed to contain Tarleton in a fourth down and five situation at the Lions’ 33 yardline. The Texans advanced to the 25 yardline before scoring a touchdown and 2-point conversion, claiming the 35-28 lead with 1:23 left in the game.

Troubles continued for the Lions when they went four and out in their ensuing drive, before Tarleton again took the ball to the endzone and claimed a field goal with 16 seconds left in the game.

The final score was 38-28 in favor of the Texans.

The first quarter saw a touchdown from both teams, leaving the teams tied up entering the second quarter.

The Lions took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter before the Texans made a 99-yard play for a touchdown to tie the game. Tarleton then scored a field goal, making the score 17-14 at the half.

“It was very disappointing for a lot of reasons – giving up a 99-yard touchdown play, lack of discipline staying on sides … offensively it looked good at times but we turned it over in crucial times,” Wallace said.

Junior quarterback Chris Alexander said he thinks the team needs to be more aware throughout the game.

“Every play of the game counts, we just have to play like every play counts,” Alexander said.

The game was the final home game of the 2012 season for the Lions. The Lions travel to Livingston to play West Alabama Nov 8 at 6:30 p.m, the final game of UNA’s 2012 season.

“We’ve just got to get ready to show up and play this last game and hopefully win it, have a winning season,” Wallace said.