UWA defense paces Tigers to blowout win

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2005

LIVINGSTON-If they had a statistic for assists the University of West Alabama defense would likely have broken a conference record last night. Tiger defenders kept Lambuth players on the run all night forcing multiple turnovers that allowed UWA to cruise to a 37-0 victory.

It seemed as if every time Lambuth had the ball there was a Tiger defender there to force poor decisions. This was the case on Lambuth’s first two possessions. However, the Tigers would not make them pay until the second miscue. On an attempted lateral Tiger defender Darius Sheffield made Lambuth pay for their gamble pouncing on the ball at the 13-yard line.

The Tiger offense would get points, but after some difficulty. UWA would need to convert a fourth and inches at the four-yard line before Jerin Wright would go over the top for a 1-yard touchdown score. The point after by MitchWarfield made the score 7-0 Tigers with 7:14 on the clock.

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The Tiger defense came through again, this time in the form of special teams as the Lambuth punter mishandled the snap on their next possession. Lewis Thompson was all over the play to give the Tigers the ball at the 5-yard line.

UWA needed only two plays for quarterback James Reiter to call his own number on a 3-yard option play to put the Tigers up 13-0 with 5:08 in the opening quarter. Again, the PAT was true making the score 14-0.

The Tiger defense apparently tired of watching the offense have all the fun and decided to score one of their own on Lambuth’s next possession. A bone jarring tackle by the Tiger defense would separate the Lambuth defender from the ball setting up a 40 yard scamper by Kidone McBride to make the score 20-0 with 4:15 to go in the first quarter. The PAT would sail wide right.

The Tigers proved they would not be content with a 20-point pad in the first period as they found the end zone once more. Andre Epes returned a Lambuth punt 20 yards to the 35-yard line to set up an easy drive once more for the Tigers. After the Tigers drove steadily down the field Wright would again find pay dirt on a 4-yard touchdown run. The PAT was good making the score 27-0 with 55 seconds to go in the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Tigers went into tighter formations to grind out yards and wind the clock. The result would be a 29-yard Warfield field goal to give the Tigers their only points of the second quarter and a30-0 halftime lead.

Both teams seemed to settle into a rushing attack in the second half, which led to minimal fireworks. The UWA defense on the other hand, never missed a step. It would be another big play by the defensive team that would set up the Tigers final score. A fumble recovery gave the Tigers the ball at the 41-yard line and a chance to slam the door shut on Lambuth.

The Tigers final score was yet another example of the ball bouncing their way. As quarterback Phillip Merryman found himself under pressure he fired the ball down the field overthrowing his intended receiver. However, Epes was close behind and snagged the ball for a 20-yard touchdown. The PAT was good capping the Tigers scoring with 4:47 to go in the third 37-0.

Through the first two games the Tigers have been dominant, but their toughest task is just ahead. The Tigers will next don their road white’s for a conference match up with Delta State next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.