It was that time of the year for two rivals to take to the field against each other and play for a year’s worth of bragging rights. The Tigers traveled to Florence, Ala., and kicked off at 3 p.m. The Tigers had control in the first half with a 24-10 hold, but second half didn’t play out in UWA’s favor. The game consisted of multiple interceptions, turnovers and lead changes from both teams, but when it came down to the play in overtime, the Tigers were left with a fourth down and a field goal attempt; hoping their defensive line could hold UNA back.
Kicker Mark Grant put up the first points with a field goal kick from the 28-yard line, but UNA took the lead shortly after with a four yard run into the end zone, with a score of 7-3. With just a minute passing, Swindle ran in a seventy yard touchdown giving UWA the lead against the Lions.
Quarterback Caldwell ran in an 11-yard touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter increasing the Tiger’s lead 17-10. After a fumble from UNA’s kickoff, Caldwell and Toocheck connected on a twenty yard pass into the End zone giving UWA the lead at halftime.
The second half began with a touchdown from the Lions after a 75-yard run and a 2-yard pass, giving UNA a closer advantage to the Tigers. UNA tied the game in the fourth quarter, which gave the score board 24-24 for the rest of the game.
With thirty nine seconds left in the game, Junior Frank Richardson capped an interception as UNA was aiming for the end zone. The buzzer sounded at the end of fourth quarter with a tied score of 24-24, forcing an overtime for the Tigers. UWA tried to find the end zone, but had to settle with a field goal kick on a fourth down, making the score 27-24. The Lions took possession of the ball and after a few plays, found the end zone, and won the rivalry game of the year.
“This is a devastating loss, but when you turn it over in the red zone twice and come away with no points on three other trips you aren’t going to win against a good football team like North Alabama,” UWA head coach Will Hall said. “Hats off to UNA. They had a great plan and came up with plays when they needed to.”
In thirty carries, Javae Swindle racked up two hundred and twenty eight yards; breaking the school’s record. Unfortunately, Swindle’s mind wasn’t on his new record of carrying yards.
“It doesn’t even matter,” Swindle said about his new record. “I have a numb feeling. It feels like when you think your girlfriend or your wife is perfect and then you find out she has been cheating on you. All you can think about is what you could have done better.”
West Alabama’s overall record sits at 6-3, with a GSC record of 4-1.
“A set back is a set up for a comeback” Toocheck tweeted after the loss.
Our Tiger’s know this loss was a tough loss, but they know what it will take to come back stronger as a team in order to finish out the season on top.
The Tigers will play at Tiger Stadium against Shorter this Saturday, with the hopes of making a stronger comeback and adding another GSC win for their 2013 season. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. Support the Tigers as they continue on their Journey to the Ring.