|November 25, 2006||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|NEW||TD||09:13||C. Jones 5 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|UNA||FG||04:05||Yuta Fukuda 25 Yd|
|UNA||TD||14:20||A.J. Milwee 15 Yd Run (Yuta Fukuda kick)|
|UNA||TD||07:49||Jason Messing 17 Yd Pass From Anthony Merritt (Yuta Fukuda kick)|
|UNA||TD||02:47||Trey Gorman 19 Yd Pass From A.J. Milwee (Yuta Fukuda kick)|
|NEW||TD||01:38||T. Zimmerman 16 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon missed kick)|
|NEW||TD||11:56||T. Zimmerman 13 Yd Pass From J. Stepp (T. Moon kick)|
|UNA||TD||13:45||A.J. Milwee 17 Yd Run (Yuta Fukuda kick)|
|UNA||TD||02:28||A.J. Milwee 5 Yd Run (Scott Shurden kick)|
|Stats at a Glance||NEW||UNA|
|3rd Down Conversions||5-10||5-10|
|4th Down Conversions||0-3||0-0|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||367 (24-39)||155 (15-18)|
|Rushing (Att)||101 (29)||315 (46)|
FLORENCE, AL - North Alabama rushed for 315 yards and had two players with 100+ yards rushing on the day as the third-ranked Lions defeated 12th-ranked Newberry College 38-20 on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs at Braly Municipal Stadium. UNA will face Delta State next week in the Southeast Regional finals.
The offensive duo of A.J. Milwee and Anthony Merritt led UNA (11-0) offensively with 112 and 103 yards respectively. Milwee finished the day completing 14-of-16 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Newberry (11-2) struck the scoreboard on their first drive of the game. Josh Stepp capped off the seven play 78-yard drive when he found Craig Jones open in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass.
The Lions responded on their second drive of the game when Yuta Fukuda capped off a drive with a 24-yard field goal to make the score 7-3.
UNA took the lead early in the second quarter when A.J. Milwee scored on a 15-yard quarterback keep to move out to a 10-7 lead. The Lions extended their lead to 17-7 when Merritt threw a wide receiver reverse touchdown pass for 17 yards to Jason Messing.
After UNA scored to make it 24-7, the Indians put together a four play 52-yard drive when Stepp found Tymere Zimmerman on a fade route for a 16-yard touchdown, cutting the UNA lead to 24-13 at the halftime intermission.
To begin the third quarter, Newberry capped off an eight play, 80-yard drive when Stepp found Zimmerman for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The extra point from Todd Moon made the score 24-20 with 11:56 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lions scored with 13:45 remaining in the contest when Milwee scored from 17 yards out to move out to a 31-20 lead. UNA scored late in the contest when Milwee scored on his third rushing touchdown of the game, a five-yard run, to give the Lions the eventual 38-20 victory.
Stepp, who was playing with an injured ring finger, finished the game 24-of-38 for 367 yards and three touchdowns. Alex Haynes rushed 13 times for 81 yards, giving him 1,063 rushing yards for the season, the seventh-highest total in Newberry football history. Corey Seawell caught 11 passes for 184 yards, the third-highest receiving yardage total in a single-game at Newberry. Zimmerman caught three passes for 40 yards and two scores, giving him 40 career touchdown receptions.
Will Newell paced the Indian defense with nine tackles and two sacks. His 128 total tackles is the third-highest mark in a single-season at Newberry.
Head Coach Zak Willis:
"It was a good football game. We just couldn't stop them on their offense and we made too many mistakes when we got the ball down close."
On the fourth down play in the fourth quarter...
"Our tailback (Alex Haynes) had him wide open (Josh Stepp). We had him, but he just didn't throw it. Josh was standing right by the first down marker and Alex just didnt' see him."
Linebacker Will Newell on A.J. Milwee's ability to run...
"We had been talking all week about how good he can run. We just tried to contain him the best we could. His (Milwee) running abilities did not frustrate me as much as the trick plays their offense ran. That says a lot about our defense that in order for them to move the ball on us really well, they had to run trick plays."
Quarterback Josh Stepp on the team coming back from a 17-point defecit...
"Even when we were done by 17, we never really thought we were out of it as an offense. That says so much about the character of this team. Nobody ever gave up and there wasn't a doubt in anybody's mind that we could come back and make it a ballgame."
On the ability to find Corey Seawell open throughout the game...
"We were watching film and we knew that they would turn people loose in their coverage and we knew that we could come in here and throw the ball. We felt like our wide receivers were more athletic than their secondary. Seawell did a great job finding holes in their zone coverage."
On playing his final collegiate game...
"It's emotional, because it's 54 of my best friends. You don't ever know if you will put on that uniform again. Walking off the field, it's real emotional because you just lost and you don't ever know if you will play again. But at the same time, we have to hold our heads high because we did something nobody in the country thought we could do. The only people that believed in us all year were the people that we played with on Saturday's. It's emotional, but at the same time, we have to be proud of what we have accomplished because nobody thought we could do it except for us."