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After taking a 28-27 lead with just 4:37 left in the game, the University of North Alabama couldn't hold on as Tarleton State rallied for a 38-28 win at Braly Stadium.
Tarleton (5-4) seemed to have the game in hand, leading 27-14 in the fourth quarter. UNA freshman quarterback Luke Wingo led UNA back, however, with two touchdown drives that he capped with short runs. The second gave UNA a 28-27 lead at the 4:37 mark. The Texans answered quickly with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to regain the lead with 1:23 left. They then added a late field goal for the 38-28 win.
The loss was UNA's third straight and drops the Lions to 5-4 overall. The Lions gave up 537 yards on defense but did manage 435 yards of offense of their own.
Tarleton State drove for a touchdown on its opening drive as Andre Plata scored on a three-yard run at the 6:20 mark of the first quarter. The Texans marched 65 yards in 16 plays on a drive that took 6:36 off the clock. Blake Barnes added the extra point to make it 7-0.
UNA tied the game with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Luke Wingo to Lee Mayhall at the 3:24 mark of the first quarter. Taylor Pontius added the PAT.
The Lions took their first lead of the night early in the third quarter as back-up quarterback Chris Alexander engineered a seven-play, 91-yard TD drive. Alexander had a career-long 66-yard run for the touchdown. Pontius kick made it 14-7 at 11:50 of the second period.
After UNA downed a punt on Tarleton State's one-yard line, the Texans quickly tied the game with a 99-yard TD pass from Jake Fenske to Cordell Valentine. Barnes PAT made it 14-14 at 6:37 of the third quarter.
After a UNA turnover, the Texans took the lead just before the half on a 24-yard Barnes field goal to make it 17-14.
Another Barnes field goal, this time from 35 yards, made it 20-14 with 8:40 left in the third quarter, and a 15-yard Zach Henshaw TD run pushed it to 27-14 with 6:01 left in the third.
A 19-yard touchdown run by Wingo with 9:00 left in the game closed the gap to 27-21. It capped a nine-play, 93-yard drive. After a defensive stop, the Lions scored again on a nine-yard Wingo TD run to make it 28-27 with 4:37 left.
Arthur Buckingham pulled in a 22-yard pass from Fenske with 1:23 left in the game and Fenske passed to Jeken Frye for the two-point conversion to make it 35-28. Barnes then kicked a 29-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to make the final count 38-28.
UNA rushed for 223 yards and passed for 212. Wingo was 15-of-26 for 187 yards and one score and he rushed for 36 yards and two TDs. Tarleton had 226 yards rushing and 311 yards passing for 537 total yards. Fenske was 31-of-41 for 311 yards and two TDs.
UNA will conclude its season on Thursday (Oct. 28) at West Alabama at 6:30 p.m.