Football looking to build on opening win

The unranked UNA Lions football team will play its first home game Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. against Harding after winning its first game against Miles College Sept. 2.

Head Coach Bobby Wallace said the upcoming game will be more difficult because Harding employs an entirely different scheme of offense than that of Miles College.

“They’re an option team, so the things that we worked on for Miles is going to be completely different, (plus) we’ve got a short week, and it’s gonna be a tough challenge to change gears on defense,” Wallace said.

Though Harding runs the ball more than they pass it, Wallace said he expects Harding to try to make big passing plays.

“You have to be very disciplined and not give up the big play in the passing game — because that’s what they’ll do, they’ll lull you to sleep and then try to hit you with a big play in the passing game,” Wallace said.

Wallace said the defense, who struggled at Miles, will have to remain disciplined in order to contain the Harding offense.

“We didn’t do a good job on turnovers, and we didn’t do a good job on execution,” Wallace said.

Wallace said the offense was guilty of poor execution as well; the team fumbled the ball multiple times. He pointed out, however, that the offensive line played well.

Harding was No. 1 in the nation in quarterback sacks last year. Wallace said the offensive line will have to do a good job protecting Chris Alexander.

In the Miles game, Wallace said the Lions showed difficulty containing quarterback David Thomas.

The Lions played well in the first half and led the Golden Bears 24-7 at halftime. Wallace said the team simply didn’t finish plays in the second half.

In the final 1:05 of the game, Chris Alexander completed a pass to Brian Sutherland before Michael Schuster kicked the extra point to give the Lions a lead of 31-24. The Bears subsequently took the ball down the field to score a touchdown, making the score 31-30.

The Bears decided to go for a 2-point conversion with 16 seconds left. Thomas handed the ball to running back Jordan Lewis, who was tackled short of the goal line by linebacker Tavarius Wilson.

“The play by Tavarius was such a good play; it was an individual effort to save the game,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he is proud of the team for showing strength under pressure in the game.

“The good thing about the game is we faced adversity there in the second half,” Wallace said. “We can take a lot from that—being able to make plays under pressure.”

Follow @FlorAlaSports for updates throughout the game.