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State Roundup
No. 2-ranked UNA falls to No. 11 Valdosta for first defeat

From staff, AP reports

Valdosta State used a fourth-quarter touchdown drive and a defensive stand in the closing minutes to hold off second-ranked North Alabama in a 27-24 Gulf South Conference victory in Valdosta, Ga.

UNA led 24-20 in the fourth quarter, but the 11th-ranked Blazers put together an eight-play, 48-yard drive to take the lead with 5:58 left in the game. On the ensuing possession, the Lions managed one first down on a fourth-down conversion before being stopped on a fourth-and-nine play at their own 41. The Blazers were then able to run the clock down to under a minute, and UNA’s A.J. Milwee was intercepted on the game’s final play on a desperation pass.

UNA (7-1, 5-1 GSC)saw its 19-game regular-season win streak end along with its 13-game road win streak. The last time the Lions lost in the regular season was Oct. 20, 2005, at Valdosta.

Milwee was 20-of-32 passing for 207 yards and one touchdown, while VSU’s Willie Copeland was 24-of-36 for 252 yards and one TD. The Blazers’ Cedric Jones had nine pass receptions for 145 yards.

After UNA took a 24-20 lead late in the third quarter, Valdosta State (7-1, 5-1)drove to the UNA 1 where the Blazers faced a second-and-goal. A huge stop by Michael Johnson for a 1-yard loss on first down and a pass deflection on a third down pass set up a fourth-and-goal call.

A pass completion lost 9 yards after UNA’s Bobby Brooks delivered a big tackle, and UNA took over at the 11-yard line.

The Lions couldn’t move the ball, and Will Batson’s punt was blocked. The Blazers regained possession at the 28, and just two plays later, Copeland was picked off by UNA’s Quinn Suggs.

The Blazers forced another punt and took over at the UNA 48. Eight plays later, Michael Terry scored on a 4-yard run.

East Carolina 41, UAB 6: Pat Pinkney passed for two third-quarter touchdowns and East Carolina continued its quest for a berth in the Conference USA title game with a win over UAB on Saturday.

The Pirates (4-1, 5-4) came into the game with the league’s best turnover margin. Free safety Van Eskridge picked off UAB quarterback Sam Hunt on the third play of the game at the Blazers’ 35.

Samford 59, Tennessee Tech 52: Jefferson Adcock threw five touchdown passes to help Samford defeat Tennessee Tech.

In an offensive showcase, both teams combined for 885 yards through the air and 1,142 yards of total offense. The 111 points combined stands as a school record for both institutions, besting the 95 combined points in the 51-44 Tech win in 2002.

Adcock completed 29 of 40 attempts for 472 yards while Tech quarterback Lee Sweeney, in his first full game back from a knee injury earlier in the season, threw three TDs and for 367 yards on 24-of-35 passing.

Troy 27, Arkansas State 0: Omar Haugabook was Troy’s offensive star in its victory over Arkansas State on Saturday. But it was the Trojan defense that never gave the Indians a chance.

Leodis McKelvin led a defensive effort with two interceptions, including one in the end zone in the first quarter.

The Trojans (6-2, 5-0 Sun Belt Conference) intercepted three passes, sacked Arkansas State quarterbacks five times and scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Sherrod Martin’s hit on Travis Hewitt forced a fumble that Borris Lee returned 1 yard for a touchdown.

Troy handed the Indians (3-5, 1-3) only their second home loss in their last 14 games.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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