The University of North Alabama defense forced three turnovers and returned one for a touchdown to highlight the Purple’s 32-20 win over the White in UNA’s annual spring game.
The UNA offense had some bright moments with long touchdown passes from Blake Hawkins and Matt Markham but the Lions shortage of offensive linemen on the roster this spring took its toll.
“Overall I was very pleased,” said UNA head coach Chris Willis. “It was a competitive game and we didn’t have any injuries and that is what we wanted to see. Offensively, I wished we had been able to move the ball a little better and we were sloppy on some of the center-quarterback exchanges. On the defensive side, they got after it pretty good today and flew around some, but we only had seven offensive linemen and basically the same unit was out on the field the whole game.”
On the White’s second possession of the day, Markham hit Austin Hicks with a 26-yard pass and followed with a 21-yard touchdown pass for the first offensive score of the day.
The defense got an interception by Lyndon Harris and a fumble recovery from Jay Hughes before the offense could score again. After a penalty on a goal-line play, the White had to settle for a 23-yard Rhett Morrison field goal.
An 11-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Will Minor gave the Purple the lead and the defense would hold its advantage.
The White’s final score came on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Hawkins to Ja’Mal Jackson.