Lions defeat rival Delta State

The UNA Lions defeated Delta State University with a score of 20-12 on Sept. 22.

The Lions were all smiles on the Delta State sideline with 6:17 left to go in the Sept. 22 game after Taylor Carney recovered Luke Wingo’s fumble into the endzone, putting the Lions up 20-12.

“Let’s shut these boys up,” said one offensive excited lineman after coming off the field.

The touchdown, which would be the final score of the game, gave the Lions an eight-point victory over the Statesmen, an overall record of 3-1 and a conference record of 1-0.

The excitement continued for UNA two drives later when defensive back Delvin Ervin intercepted DSU quarterback Trevor Wooden with 1:06 left in the game.

Ervin came off the field to head pats and body bumps from his roaring teammates, while purple and gold pom-poms shook in the hands of screaming UNA fans.

“It felt great (to intercept that pass),” Ervin said.

The Lions’ sideline, however, was not abuzz with confidence through the whole game.

The first quarter saw no scores from either team, despite interceptions on both sides.

The Statesmen got on the board first with a rushing touchdown from Wooden and a missed extra point, before the Lions answered with a touchdown. DSU scored a field goal at the end of the quarter, leaving the score 9-7 in favor of the Statesmen at halftime.

In the last three minutes of the third quarter, UNA running back Lamonte Thompson broke through DSU’s defense for a 79-yard touchdown run.

The fourth quarter opened with a close score, UNA leading the way 13-9.

Two drives before the interception, the Lions held Delta State from a touchdown after the Statesmen drove the ball to the UNA 6-yard line before receiving a 5-yard delay of game penalty on the fourth down. The Statesmen opted for a field goal, bringing the score to 13-12.

After Coffey scored the last touchdown for the Lions and DSU got the ball back, Evrin said some direction from his coach resulted in his interception.

“On the play before, my coach had told me to play tighter coverage, so I pressed that play,” Ervin said.

Head coach Bobby Wallace said that though the win was a big one, conference play will only continue to get tougher, and the Lions still need work on offense.

“In the second half we came out knowing that we needed to throw the football, and we had two sideline routes; but both of them were thrown out of bounds,” Wallace said.

Starting quarterback Chris Alexander completed only four of 12 passes for a total of 11 yards. Wingo was able to make a pass, but he also fumbled the ball.

“Some people could say it was an ugly game — it wasn’t ugly from a defensive standpoint, but offensively it was,” Wallace said. “We’ve just got to keep working.”

The Lions will now focus their attention on Shorter in their next game Sept. 29 at Braly Stadium at 6 p.m. for homecoming.

Wallace said he thinks Shorter runs a similar option to that of Harding — the team that dealt the Lions their first loss of the 2012 season.

“We’ll see if we want to learn any lessons from that (Harding loss),” Wallace said.

As for the players, Ervin said the teammates have become more confident  since the beginning of the season.

“We’re more together now  — way better than the first two games,” Ervin said.

Follow @FlorAlaSports during the game to get live updates.