DII squad dominates second half
LIVINGSTON, Ala. - Down 8-7 to Cumberland at intermission, West Alabama dipped into the bullpen and scored 27 unanswered poins in the second half to defeat the Bulldogs 34-8 Thursday night at tiger Stadium.
The win moved the NCAA Division II West Alabama squad to 2-0, while CU slipped to 1-1.
Cumberland's defense played a spectacular brand of football in the first 30 minutes, holding the Tigers to just seven points while producing two special teams plays that resulted in points.
Nathan Anderson's blocked punt out of the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and Justin Snyder's five-yard TD pass to Trevon Jones midway through the second period gave Cumberland an 8-7 advantage at the half. CU took advantage of two special teams miscues by UWA for the scores, the first the blocked punt and the second a partially blocked punt by Nathan Jernigan that gave the Bulldogs another short field.
Looking for a spark, WAU brought in quarterback Dezmon Huntley off the bench who engineered a pair of second quarter TD's -- and the Tigers were off and running.
"The kids played hard," said CU coach Donnie Suber. "They did everything we asked them to do. We were a little banged up and had only 43 we could play -- and we played every one of them.
"We kind of had their number in the first half, but Huntley made a huge difference in the second half.
"He was pulling it down on the zone option and they hit us for some big plays when they caught us slanting."
Huntly, redshirt freshman from Mableton, Georgia, rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown while completing 4-of-4 passes for 100 yards and two more scores.
With Huntley at the controls, West Alabama rang up 342 of its 401 total yards in the second half while UWA defenders held the Bulldogs to just 173 total yards for the game and no points in the second half.
"His dad was our quarterback when I played at Georgia Southern," Suber said. "His dad could run and Dezmon can as well."
Snyder finished 14-of-28 for 139 yards and one touchdown, but Cumberland rushed for a net of 10 yards, accounted for only 173 yards of total offense -- accounting for just eight first downs.
Cumberland defensive back DeAnthony Patrick picked off a UWA pass while Nathan Jernigan and Daniel Wilson each contributed 10 tackles. Mt. Juliet's Cody Carr was in on eight stops.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday, sept. 18 as they travel to Williamsburg, Ky. for a 6 p.m. game vs. The University of the Cumberlands.