LIVINGSTON, Ala. –. What a difference three weeks made for the University of North Alabama football team as the Lions steamrolled West Alabama 43-27 in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Division II playoffs. North Alabama had dropped a 31-26 decision in Livingston back on October 27 but turned the tables on the Tigers in the rematch, scoring on its first five offensive possessions and rolling to the win.
The Lions, 9-2, advance to meet Delta State next Saturday (Nov. 26) in Cleveland, Miss., in the second round of the playoffs. The Lions also lost to the Statesmen in the regular-season, 30-24 in overtime.
North Alabama scored on all five of its first half offensive possessions and added a punt return for a touchdown to roll to a 36-17 halftime lead. The Tigers would only get within 16 points in the second half as UNA’s offense moved up and down the field and finished with 471 total yards.
“Our players did a magnificent job today and they deserve all the credit,” said UNA Head Football Coach Terry Bowden. “We played a great West Alabama team and we are proud to be able to come here and get a win. Our guys were physically and mentally ready to play and we are playing some of our best football of the season.”
Bowden said the first quarter punt return for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins was the key play in the game. “When we played down here in the regular season we started slow and could never catch up,” he said. “Today we were able to drive the ball on our first possession and then when Janoris returned that punt, it got us rockin’. There was just a buzz for our guys after that.”
UNA quarterback Lee Chapple had a stellar day, completing 27-of-33 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Daniel Almon had a career-high eight catches for 104 yards and Wes Holland led the ground attack with 66 yards and a touchdown.
Read More: RoarLions.com