Fumble return starts No. 3 North Alabama on its way; A&M falls on road
From staff, AP reports
A 99-yard fumble return that halted Southern Arkansas’ opening drive set the tone for the night as the third-ranked North Alabama Lions downed the Muleriders 27-8 at Florence’s Braly Stadium.
UNA (3-0, 2-0 Gulf South Conference) watched SAU take the opening kickoff and march deep into Lions territory before Craig Fox picked off a fumble and went the length of the field for a touchdown. UNA forced four other turnovers on its way to a sixth straight win over Southern Arkansas.
It was UNA’s 15th straight regular-season win and 11th straight regular-season win at home.
Following Fox’s fumble return, Scott Shurden made the PAT to give UNA a 7-0 lead at 9:26 of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, a 1-yard David McCants run and Shurden’s kick made it 14-0 at the 9:52 mark of the first half.
In the second half, Tim Hicks extended UNA’s lead with a 3-yard TD run. Shurden’s kick missed but UNA led 20-0 with 10:59 left in the quarter.
A 2-yard TD pass from A.J. Milwee to Jason Messing with 2:11 left in the game gave UNA’s its final touchdown. Yuta Fukuda’s kick made it 27-0.
It was Messing’s 19th career touchdown catch, which tied him on UNA’s all-time list with Harlon Hill. He is one shy of the school record of 20 by Michael Edwards. Messing also caught a pass for the 27th straight game, leaving him one shy of that record held by Marcus Lewis.
Grambling State 31, Alabama A&M 6: Alabama A&M’s high-powered offense hit the brakes as Grambling held the Bulldogs to two field goals.
Jeremy Licea connected on kicks of 37 and 36 yards in the first half to provide the only scoring for A&M, which has never won at Grambling. The 37-yarder is a career long field goal for the sophomore kicker.
Kelcy Luke completed 14 of 26 passes for 117 yards on 14 of 26 attempts, and Ulysses Banks was limited to 37 rushing yards.
Eastern Kentucky 31, Jacksonville State 20: Eastern Kentucky overcame an early Jacksonville State lead to defeat the Gamecocks.
Eastern Kentucky (2-1, 1-0 Ohio Valley Conference) scored twice in the opening quarter, first on a 95-yard kickoff return by Davin Walker, then on Bobby Washington’s 76-yard run two minutes later.
Jacksonville State (1-3, 0-1) scored first when Deonte Carter scored on a 9-yard pass from Cedric Johnson at the 10:31 mark. Gavin Hallford followed with a 45-yard field goal to put the Gamecocks up 10-0.
But Eastern Kentucky took the lead on Walker and Washington’s plays to enter halftime ahead 14-10.
JSU’s final scores came from Cedric Johnson and Hallford, who kicked a 33-yard field goal in the third to make it 21-20.
Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
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AP contributed to this report.
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