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A quick start to the first half was followed by a quick start in the second half by the South Alabama Jaguars. Put those together and South Alabama bounced back from a disappointing loss with a convincing 38-14 non-conference victory over visiting Louisiana Tech at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday.

The first quarter scores came on a 3-yard pass from Carter Bradley to Lincoln Sefcik and a 57-yard punt return by Caullin Lacey. The Jaguars eventually took a 17-7 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, South Alabama got touchdowns on a 24-yard interception return by Yam Brooks and a 19-yard pass from Bradley to Lacey. La’Damian Webb made the score 38-7 with a 28-yard touchdown run nine seconds into the final quarter.

South Alabama also had four takeaways on four consecutive possessions.

“It’s huge, especially when the defense is rolling like that,” Bradley said of the quick starts to each half. “It was a weird game, can’t really explain it, but we’ll look back at film and learn from it. I’ve got a big one next week (at Louisiana), we’re excited for that one, so that’s where we are headed.”

South Alabama coach Kane Wommack was pleased with his team’s response after the heartbreaking loss at UCLA last week.

“That was a statement game in my mind, and I’m really pleased with where we are to this point, but we have to continue to work the momentum and build the consistency in our program that we’re looking for,” Wommack said. “There are plenty of things to get better from in this game, but a statement nonetheless.”

MILES COLLEGE 34, CENTRAL STATE 14: The Golden Bears gave Sam Shade his first win as a college head coach with contributions on both sides of the football in the SIAC opener for both teams.

Offensively, the Bears got 141 yards rushing with two touchdowns from Jarious Keyes and Jacob Keller threw a pair of touchdown passes. Defensively, the Golden Bears had eight sacks. three fumble recoveries and 30-yard scoop-and-score by Roosevelt Thompson.

Both of Keller’s touchdown passes came in the first half as Miles College built a 21-7 halftime lead. JaMichael Rogers and Roc Dowdell had two sacks each for the Golden Bears. Ka’Darrion Jones had 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. William Hardy had a team-high 11 tackles while adding a forced fumble.

HUNTINGDON 34, BELHAVEN 21: Huntingdon linebacker Casey Peppers will get national attention once again this week. The senior from Panama City, Florida had a D-III national best 23 tackles against one of the top rushing attacks in the nation. He led a defensive effort that kept the Blazers 74 yards under their rushing per game average of 303 yards.

Offensively, the Hawks had some success throwing the ball and running the ball. Quarterback Landon Cotney was 14-of-24 for 266 yards with two touchdowns. Running back Kahari McReynolds had 90 yards on 17 carries and fellow running back Troy Garner had a touchdown catching and a touchdown receiving. The other touchdowns came on a 52-yard pass from Cotney to Conner Bradford and a 72-yard punt return by Tyler England.

“I'm so proud of our guys for  hanging in there and finding a way to win," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk on the school’s athletic website. "We've had two of these tough games already, so I feel like our guys are battle tested and I feel like they understand what it takes to win a four quarter fight. We have a long way to go. We still have some really good football teams on our schedule."

TUSKEGEE 35, ALLEN COLLEGE 27: The Golden Tigers scored the first 14 points of the game and never trailed. It was the second consecutive win for Tuskegee.

The Tigers had three scoring drives last under a minute and another that took 1:02 off the clock. Tuskegee needed the quick strike offense to combat an Allen University offense that gained 380 yards through the air and 491 yards overall.

Tuskegee quarterback Bryson Williams threw for two scores and rushed for another touchdown. The Golden Tigers rushed for just 111 yards but scored three touchdowns on the ground. Jordan Ogletree had a 75-yard touchdown reception from Williams.

FAULKNER 23, UNIVERSITY OF CUMBERLANDS 20, OVERTIME: The Eagles scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and won the game in overtime on a 13-yard pass from Ben Anderson to Jaiveyon Tucker.

Faulkner scored the game’s first points on a 45-yard field goal by Caden Davis with just under 13 minutes left in the first half. The Eagles didn’t score again until early in the fourth quarter. By that time, the Patriots had a 17-3 lead. Faulkner erased the lead on a pair of Anderson touchdown passes and two extra points by Davis. Shaun Vincent caught the first touchdown pass from 43 yards out and Tucker caught a 11-yard scoring toss with 4:58 left.

The Patriots scored on a field goal on their overtime possession. Faulkner countered with the game-winning touchdown.

WEST GEORGIA 22, WEST ALABAMA 6: West Georgia, the No. 8 ranked Division II team in the country, scored 16 unanswered points in the second half to walk away with a tough road victory.

West Georgia had a pair of touchdown runs in the second half and added a field goal. West Alabama had trouble moving the football, 259 yards on 72 plays overall. The Tigers did get a strong game from linebacker Michael Anderson, who had 10 solo tackles, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

JACKSONVILLE STATE 52, NICHOLLS 21: Senior quarterback Zion Webb was sharp, connecting on 9-of-11 passes for 252 yards with a pair of touchdowns and carrying the ball seven times for 79 yards with two more touchdowns.

“Every time Zion was in, we scored, so he was seeing the field well,” said Jacksonville State head coach Rich Rodriguez. “The execution was key for us offensively.”

Both of Webb’s touchdown passes were big strike plays. He teamed up with tight end Sean Brown on a 76-yard score and with Sterling Galban on a 70-yard score. Matt LaRoche rushed for another big chunk touchdown when he scored untouched on a 48-yard run. Webb’s touchdown runs came from 13 and 28 yards. Pat Jackson and Anwar Lewis each had a three-yard touchdown runs.

FLORIDA A&M 38, ALABAMA A&M 25: Things went smoothly early on for the visiting Bulldogs. They scored the first 10 points of the game and still led 19-14 at halftime. The second half, however, was a different story. The Rattlers outscored the Bulldogs, 24-6, after halftime to capture the SWAC opener for both teams.

Alabama A&M quarterback Xavier Lankford had 180 yards with a touchdown through the air and 11 carries for 81 yards on the ground. But he also had a pair of interceptions. Running back Gary Quarles scored the first touchdown of the game and the Bulldogs had 202 yards rushing as a team.

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 24, ALABAMA STATE 15: Quarterback Dematrius Davis returned to the lineup to throw for 173 yards and a touchdowns and Jacory Merritt rushed for 143  yards. But that wasn’t enough to keep the Hornets from falling in the SWAC game.

Alabama State linebacker Colton Adams had a game-high 13 tackles.

TARLETON STATE 43, UNA 28: Another huge rushing game by ShunDerrick Powell was not enough for the Lions on Saturday night. Powell rushed 13 times for 209 yards with touchdown runs of 75, 3 and 55 yards. It was the second time in three weeks that Powell eclipsed the 200-yard mark and it was the most rushing yards in school history against a Division I opponent. It’s the fourth best single game rushing total in FCS this season and he’s the lone FCS running back to have at least 200 yards in two separate games.

Powell had 168 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to help UNA lead 21-20 at intermission. Tarleton State dominated the second half. UNA did manage a 78-yard scoring pass from Noah Walters to Demarcus Lacey but Tarleton State was already in control at that point.

BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN 34, POINT UNIVERSITY 14: Jon Lewis rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns to help the Panthers come off the bye week with a convincing win over the NAIA opponent.

Panther quarterback Matt McLary was 14-of-20 for 240 yards with a 9-yard scoring toss to Dayton Green. McLary was also intercepted once and sacked three times.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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