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UNA comeback bid falls short at Hampton, 40-34

HAMPTON, Va. – Down 20-2 at the half, the University of North Alabama rallied for five second half touchdowns but came up short in a 40-34 loss to Hampton at Ar...
una lions football

HAMPTON, Va. – Down 20-2 at the half, the University of North Alabama rallied for five second half touchdowns but came up short in a 40-34 loss to Hampton at Armstrong Stadium.

With the loss, North Alabama is now 2-4, while Hampton improves to 3-2.

North Alabama was able to take a 27-23 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the game but could not hold it as Hampton scored 17 unanswered points to push its advantage to 40-27. UNA added a TD with 2:18 left but UNA failed to recover the on-side kick and Hampton was able to run out the clock.  

UNA finished with 334 total yards after gaining just 43 in the first half. Hampton put up 545 total yards on 86 offensive plays.

UNA’s Christian Lopez was 14-of-27 for 288 yards and four touchdowns, with TD passes to four different receivers.

UNA got its first offensive production of the game on the first series of the second half when Christian Lopez hit Dexter Boykin with a 55-yard TD pass. Joe Gurley missed the extra-point attempt but UNA had cut the deficit to 20-8.

After a defensive stop, the Lions found the end zone again, driving to the Hampton one before Jaxton Carson  scored on a one-yard run. Gurley’s PAT made it 2015 at 8:12 of the second quarter.

A 27-yard Evan Lomax field goal for Hampton with 4:00 left in the third made it 23-15.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, D’Andre Hart picked off a Hampton pass at the goal line and returned it 49 yards. UNA scored two plays later on a 30-yard TD pass from Lopez to Jacob Terry. The try-for-two failed but the Lions had cut the Pirate lead to 23-21 with 14:23 left in the game.

After a Jalen Dread interception with 13:16 left gave the Lions the ball at the Hampton 37, Lopez hit Andre Little with a 25-yard TD strike to put UNA on top 27-23 with 11:26 left in the game. Hampton’s Jave Brown picked off a pass on the try-for-two and returned it for a defensive extra-point to close the gap to 27-25.

Hampton responded with a six-yard TD pass from Francois to KeyRon Catlett with 6:49 left and passed to Jadakis Bonds for the two-point conversion to put Hampton back on top 33-27.

Francois hit Bonds with a 41-yard TD catch with 3:17 left to push the advantage to 40-27.

Corson Swan then caught an 18-yard TD pass from Lopez with 2:18 left and Gurley’s PAT made it 40-34.

Hampton took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards to the end zone in 12 plays for the game’s first score. Deondre Francois scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak with 9:26 left in the first quarter to make it 6-0. After a bad snap on the extra-point attempt, UNA’s A.J. Bracey picked up the ball and raced to the end zone for a defensive extra point. It was UNA’s first defensive PAT since 2011 and made the score 6-2.

A Jeffery Battle interception stopped the next Hampton drive deep in UNA territory but the Lion offense couldn’t move the ball.

Hampton pushed its lead to 13-2 early in the second quarter with a 10-play, 85-yard drive. Will Robinson scored on an eight-yard run and Evan Lomax PAT gave the Pirates an 11point lead at 14:28 of the second quarter.

Just before the half, UNA moved the ball to midfield but a fumble by quarterback Christian Lopez set the Pirates up deep in Lion territory. Two plays later, Francois hit Jadakis Bonds with a six-yard TD pass to make it 20-2.

North Alabama went to intermission with just four first downs and 43 total yards to 272 for Hampton.

The loss to Hampton was the first by a UNA team in three meetings.