TIGERVILLE, S.C. (UWA Athletics) - E.J. Humphrey scored on a 6-yard run with 14.1 seconds left to lift North Greenville to a 20-16 Gulf South Conference football victory over No. 21 West Alabama Saturday at Younts Stadium.
The run capped a nine-play, 92-yard drive that began with 1:44 to play. A 44-yard completion from Donny Baker to Lucas Catalfomo on third-and-10 from its own 20 yard line, coupled with a roughing the passer penalty at the end of the play, put the ball at the UWA 21. A holding penalty on the next play moved NGU to the UWA 7 to set up Humphrey's game-winner.
North Greenville improved to 3-1 with its first Gulf South Conference home victory. The Crusaders are 2-0 in league play. West Alabama is 3-2 and 0-2.
"It's matter of making plays when you play in the Gulf South Conference," Gilliland said. "North Greenville made the plays down the stretch and we helped them with some costly penalties on the last drive."
North Greenville had 317 yards total offense and held the Tigers to 222 and 14 first downs. The Tigers committed 15 penalties for 165 yards.
West Alabama opened the scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Murphree to Tyriq Martin two plays after Christian Saulsberry returned the opening kickoff 60 yards deep into North Greenville territory.
North Greenville tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by Dashonnell Wright to cap a 10-play scoring drive with 12:28 left in the first half.
The Crusaders took a 10-7 lead into the half thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Matt Gravely with 7.5 seconds left in the second quarter. The field goal was set up by a 37-yard reception by Matthew Martin off the hands of Tiger defender Abraham Wallace, who looked to have a certain interception on the third-and-10 play.
Tiger kicker Jordan Bennett connected on a 31-yard field goal with 7:34 left to play in the third quarter to tie the score at 10-10.
West Alabama foiled a fake punt attempt by the Crusaders on the ensuing drive. The stop, plus a Crusader personal foul following the play, set up the Tigers at the NGU 21. Tyler Rogers scored on an 8-yard run three plays later. Rogers carried for all 21 yards on three-play drive that lengthened the UWA lead to 16-10.
Gravely connected on a 39-yard field goal to cut the West Alabama led to 16-13 with 12:56 left to play.
Humphrey carried 26 times for 94 yards to lead all rushers. Baker completed 11-of-26 for 162 yards and Catalfomo had seven catches for 109 yards.
Rogers led West Alabama ball carriers with 90 yards on 16 carries. Murphree completed 15-of-25 for 116 yards in his first start as a Tiger. Saulsberry led UWA receivers with four catches for 38 yards.
Undraez Lilly was in on eight tackles to lead West Alabama defenders. Jon Michael Edwards had six stops. Wallace broke up three passes and Charles Bester intercepted one.
Dominique Hunt recorded eight tackles for North Greenville, followed by Seth Laughter with five. Matthew Thomas forced a fumble and recovered one.
West Alabama completes at three-game road swing by traveling to Rome, Georgia to meet Shorter on Saturday.