FLORENCE, Ala. — Down by three with 16 seconds to play in the game, North Alabama recovered an onside kick but couldn't capitalize as the Lions dropped a 38-35 decision in an ASUN Conference game at Braly Stadium.
With the loss, the Lions' fourth this season in the final seconds, UNA falls to 1-8 overall and 0-5 in the ASUN. Austin Peay improved to 6-3 and 2-2 in the ASUN.
North Alabama trailed by 10 at the half but pulled within three points twice in the second half. The final score came with 16 seconds left in the game on a 32-yard pass from Noah Walters to Demarcus Lacey to make it 38-35.
UNA kicker Sam Contorno then executed a perfect on-side kick, recovering the ball himself to give the Lions a final chance. After an incomplete pass on the first play, Walters was picked off on the final play of the game.
North Alabama running back ShunDerrick Powell had his fourth 200-yard rushing game of the season with 207 yards on 23 carries, with two touchdowns. He also broke the UNA single-season rushing record for the regular season with 1,322 yards.
It was also Powell's sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season, moving him within one of the school record.
UNA quarterback Noah Walters completed 20-of-35 passes for 203 yards and two scores. The Lions had 463 yards of total offense with 260 yards rushing and 203 passing.
Austin Peay finished with 544 total yards.
On the first possession of the game, North Alabama marched 75 yards in eight plays for a touchdown. ShunDerrick Powell exploded for a 41-yard run to put the ball in the end zone at 10:50 of the first quarter. Sam Contorno's extra-point gave UNA a 7-0 lead.
After UNA's defense forced a three-and-out, the Lions covered 53 yards in four plays for its second score. Noah Walters lofted a 33-yard touchdown pass to Takairee Kenebrew at 8:05 of the first quarter and Contorno's kick made it 14-0.
Austin Peay got on the scoreboard with 5:42 left in the first quarter when C.J. Evans, Jr., scored on a three-yard run. The PAT cut UNA's advantage to 14-7.
The North Alabama defense stopped the Governors at the one-yard line on a fourth and goal call but Austin Peay scored on its next possession on a 32-yard field goal by Maddux Trujillo with 7:58 left in the half to make it 14-10.
With 6:18 left in the half, Jevon Jackson scored on a three-yard run and Trujillo's PAT gave the Governors their first lead at 17-14.
Austin Peay got another score before the half when the Governors blocked a UNA punt and put the ball in the end zone seven plays later. Mike DiLiello passed six yards to James Burns for the score to make it 24-14 at intermission.
Powell rushed for 113 yards in the first half on 12 carries and caught one pass for 33 yards.
The Governors extended their lead just two plays into the second half when DiLiello passed 69 yards to Kellen Stewart for a touchdown. The score made it 31-14 with 14:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Powell broke free for his second touchdown of the day on a 32-yard run with 1:43 left in the third period and Contorno's kick cut the APSU lead to 10 at 31-21.
Austin Peay missed on a field goal attempt from 31 yards out early in the fourth quarter and the Lions went 80 yards for another score. After Powell picked up 60 yards on a series of carries, Walters kept it around left end from 21 yards out and found the end zone. The score pulled the Lions to within three at 31-28 with 9:27 remaining in the game.
The Governors pushed the lead back to 10 when DiLiello hit Drae McCray with a13-yard touchdown pass with 6:25 left in the game to make it 38-28.
After another missed field goal attempt by Austin Peay, the Lions scored a late touchdown with just 16 seconds left on a 32-yard pass from Walters to Lacey to make it 38-35.
North Alabama hosts Tennessee Tech on November 12 at Braly Stadium.