UNA downs Central Oklahoma 31-10Published 11:05am Friday, September 2, 2011
FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama football team used a lackluster offensive performance coupled with a suffocating defensive performance to down Central Oklahoma 31-10 Thursday night.
The Lions offense struggled in the first quarter as quarterback Lee Chapple threw a pair of interceptions. Fortunately for UNA the defense were able to get three stops in the quarter.
“We put in a brand new offense,” UNA head coach Terry Bowden said. “We put in 15 of our favorite plays and we knew we were in for a crap shoot because they were in a new defense.”
UCO (0-1) finally got on the board with 4:25 remaining in the first quarter when Chris Robbs hit a 34-yard field goal. The Lions (1-0) wasted no time answering, taking the ensuing possession 65 yards for a touchdown. The drive was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown dash by Chris Coffey.
The Lion defense recovered a fumble on the next UCO drive to set the offense up at midfield. Chapple led UNA to the 2-yard line before Antwan Ivey ended the drive with a rushing touchdown to give the Lions a comfortable 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.
UNA’s defense continued to dominate throughout the quarter, recording three fumble recoveries by halftime. The Lions would add an interception in the second half.
Despite the four turnovers generated by the defense, UNA lost the turnover battle. Chapple threw three interceptions, Wes Holland lost a fumble on a rushing play and Janoris Jenkins fumbled a punt return.
To add pressure to the defense, UCO quarterback Ethan Sharp broke two school records for passing. His 41 completions and 71 attempts rewrote the Broncho record book.
Despite Sharp’s night, Bowden was pleased with how his defense performed.
“(Sharp) would take one step and throw it and they made some remarkable catches,” Bowden said. “We gave up 10 points and we had five turnovers.”
UNA extended its lead in the third quarter thanks to a 22-yard field goal by Nathan O’Jibway and a 69-yard touchdown run by Ivey to give the Lions a 24-3 lead.
UCO scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sharp to Tucker Holland with 2:04 remaining in the third quarter. That touchdown pass broke the school record for completions.
Ivey rounded out the scoring late in the fourth quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run.
The Lions will host Glenville State next Saturday at 6 p.m.