Footbll Hangs Tough Against UNA
By Cody Parker, Sports Editor
The UNCP football team played close with the No. 5 ranked team in the nation, North Alabama, on Oct. 11, but the Lions pulled away from UNCP late to take the 27-6 win in Grace P. Johnson stadium.
The Braves started true freshman Reggie Pinner at quarterback with Seth Owen still out with an injury.
“I’m really proud of him. I really thought he had a great week of preparation,” said Head Coach Shane Richardson of Pinner.
Pinner finished 16 of 41 passing for 104 yards and two interceptions, but he showed a good connection with B.J. Bunn and John Rich.
Bunn and Rich combined for 12 catches and 95 yards.
“I don’t know how quick Seth (Owen) will get back in the mix, but I expect there to be a quarterback battle, and right now Reggie Pinner is our starting quarterback until we see something different in practice,” Richardson said.
UNCP’s opening drive ended with an interception by Taylor Carney on the Braves 16. The Black and Gold’s defense held strong and forced a field goal, but UNCP got called for a personal foul which gave North Alabama another shot to capitalize on the good field position.
They took advantage and punched the ball in on a six-yard run by Lamonte Thompson.
The Black and Gold’s Connor Haskins hit two field goals in the second quarter to account for all of UNCP’s points.
North Alabama also kicked a field goal in the second quarter to bring the score to 10-6 at halftime.
The Lions added another field goal in the third quarter, but the Braves were still right in it. UNCP had a couple drives in the second and third quarter that started on North Alabama’s side of the field, but were only able to get a couple of field goals out of it.
“When you smell it, you got to go and go after it and get it. I think we’ve got to create a little more of that,” said Richardson on the team’s inability to finish off drives with a touchdown.
North Alabama scored two touchdowns early in the second quarter to put the Braves out of reach.
Rontonio Stanley finished the game with 16 rushes for 73 yards.
Photo by Cody Parker. Rontonio Stanley runs by a player in the game against North Alabama.