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UNA Lions fall in Two Overtimes

The Lions fell 40-34 to Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. — In North Alabama's first-ever ASUN Conference football game, the Lions held a 27-20 lead late in the fourth quarter before Kennesaw State rallied to take a 40-34 win over the Lions in two overtimes at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

The loss was UNA's second overtime loss this season.

UNA quarterback Noah Walters hit Takairee Kenebrew with a 60-yard touchdown pass to break a 20-20 tie in the fourth quarter and give the Lions a 27-20 lead with 3:43 left in the game.

Kennesaw State rallied to tie the game with a one-yard TD pass with 21 seconds left from Xavier Shepherd to Isaac Foster, forcing overtime.

North Alabama scored on the first possession of the extra period on a 31-yard pass from Walters to Kenebrew.

KSU scored a tying touchdown on its possession, forcing the second overtime.

Kennesaw State went first in the second extra period and scored a go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run by Isaac Foster. The try-for-two failed.

On UNA's final possession, the Lions were stopped on four plays as KSU got the win.

North Alabama is now 1-4 overall, while KSU improved to 2-3.

Kenebrew finished with four catches for a career-high 162 yards. It was his third career game with three touchdown catches.

Walters threw for 326 yards and three scores.

Down 17-13 in the fourth quarter, UNA drove 67 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The score was aided by two KSU penalties and a 29-yard pass from Noah Walters to Corson Swan. ShunDerrick Powell then scored his ninth touchdown of the season with 11:38 left in the game to put UNA on top 20-17.

Kennesaw State tied the game at 20-20 with 5:45 left in the game on a 26-yard Connor Cummins field goal.

North Alabama held the ball for 6:20 on its opening possession, driving 66 yards in 14 plays for the game's first score. Sam Contorno came on to boot a 26-yard field goal to give the Lions a 3-0 lead at 8:40 of the first quarter.

Kennesaw State answered with a score on its first possession, driving 75 yards on 18 straight running plays. KSU quarterback Xavier Shepherd capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run at 1:25 of the first quarter and Connor Cummins added the PAT to make it 7-3.

UNA was picked off on its next possession but the Lions' defense held at the 19-yard-line to force a field goal attempt. Cummins came on to boot a 36-yard field goal to make it 10-3 at 11:05 of the second quarter.

North Alabama scored on its ensuing possession as Contorno added a career-long 38-yard field goal to cut the KSU lead to 10-6 with 7:17 left in the half.

After a defensive stop, UNA had another chance to score before the half but lost its first fumble of the season at the KSU 41 with 1:15 left in the second quarter. The Owls moved the ball into UNA's territory but a blocked field goal attempt by Kam'Ron Green with 10 seconds left kept the halftime score 10-6.

The Owls opened the second half with a touchdown drive capped by a five-yard TD run by Shepherd to put KSU up 17-6 at 12:49 of the third quarter.

UNA answered a few plays later as Walters hit Takairee Kenebrew with a 62-yard touchdown pass. Contorno's PAT made it 17-13 at 11:46 of the third period.

The two teams then exchanged turnovers on the next three possessions as UNA threw an interception but got fumble recoveries by E.J. Colbert and Zakobe Shoulders. None of the turnovers resulted in points.

North Alabama will host Jacksonville State next Saturday, October 15, at Toyota Field in Madison, Ala.

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