– It wasn't pretty but the University of North Alabama remained unbeaten with a 30-10 Homecoming win over Western Oregon at Braly Stadium. The Lions were whistled for 178 yards in penalties and lost two fumbles but managed to hold off the Wolves by forcing three turnovers and sacking WOU quarterbacks nine times for 77 yards.
With the win, the fifth ranked Lions improved to 4-0. Western Oregon falls to 2-3.
With starting quarterback Luke Wingo out of the lineup, the Lions turned the offense over to back-up Jacob Tucker who rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries and scored one touchdown. He also passed for 76 yards and another score.
UNA held Western Oregon to minus 23 yards rushing and 183 total yards.
The Lions struggled throughout the first half, losing two fumbles and being penalized 11 times for 123 yards while only gaining 124 yards of total offense.
The Lions got on the scoreboard on the first possession of the game when Philbert Martial picked off a Trey Shimabukuro pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. Taylor Pontius extra-point attempt was wide but UNA led 6-0 at 10:40 of the first quarter.
There wasn't another score in the game until the 3:20 mark of the second quarter when Jacob Tucker reached the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run. Pontius kick was good this time and UNA led 13-0.
North Alabama was driving for another possible score late in the half but fumbled the ball back to the Wolves. WOU then drove 37 yards in three plays to setup a 50-yard Jesse Correa field goal on the final play of the half, cutting UNA's lead to 13-3 at intermission.
UNA took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 69 yards for a touchdown. Tucker hit Delvon Carpenter with a TD pass from 31 yards out. Pontius PAT made it 20-3 with 11:59 left in the third quarter.
Lamonte Thompson hit Dre Hall with a 29-yard halfback pass for a touchdown with 1:57 left in the third to extend the lead to 27-3.
The Wolves got their lone touchdown of the night on a 28-yard pass from Shimabukuro to Daniel Thomas with 8:02 left in the game.
UNA added a 32-yard Pontius field goal with 4:31 left to make the final count 30-10.
North Alabama will play on the road the next two weeks with games at North Carolina-Pembroke (Oct. 11) and Florida Tech (Oct. 18).