FLORENCE, Ala. – Hunter Heck missed a 22-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game as 18th ranked North Alabama knocked off West Georgia 24-23 in a key Gulf South Conference matchup.
UNA, now 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the GSC, scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard run by Blake Hawkins with just 1:44 left in the game. West Georgia then drove to the UNA five-yard line before Heck came on to attempt a possible game-winner. North Alabama used all three of its timeouts to ice Heck and his kick then went wide left.

With the loss, West Georgia is now 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the GSC.

West Georgia out-gained UNA 468 yards to 334 but the Lions picked off three passes.

UNA quarterback Jacob Tucker was 20-of-36 passing for 222 yards and rushed for 85 yards and two toucdowns. Hawkins came on after Tucker was injured on the game-winning drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown. Kevin Henke’s PAT then provided the margin of victory.

North Alabama scored on its opening possession on a 47-yard Henke field goal.

West Georgia then scored 16 unanswered points to take a 16-3 lead at the half. Devontae Jackson scored on a 29-yard run with 9:18 left in the first quarter and Heck added field goals of34, 25 and 40 yards.

UNA scored on its first possession of the second half, following an interception. Tucker scored on a five-yard run and Henke’s PAT made it 16-10 at 7:47 of the third quarter.

A 66-yard TD run by Lemarcus Franks, after West Georgia had stopped UNA on fourth down, seemed to give the Wolves the momentum with just 1:08 left in the quarter and a 23-10 lead.

Tucker capped an 18-play, 66-yard drive with a two-yard run with 9:24 to play to make it 23-17.

UNA’s game-winning drive covered 67 yards.

The Lions play at Florida Tech on October 8.

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