No. 11 West Alabama moves to 2-0 with win vs. Miles College

LIVINGSTON, Ala. -- Despite allowing a back and forth first half, West Alabama took control of the game later and knocked off Miles College at Tiger Stadium Thursday night, 37-21.

The 11th ranked Tigers were powered by senior quarterback Harry Satterwhite, who threw four touchdowns in the UWA victory.

This story will be updated.

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Christian Saulsberry scored three touchdowns and Harry Satterwhite threw four touchdown passes as 10th-ranked West Alabama overcame a sluggish start to defeat Miles College, 37-21, Thursday at Tiger Stadium.

After a lightning delay of an hour and 25 minutes before the opening kickoff, it took UWA about as long to get cranked up before eventually running away from the Golden Bears in the second half.

The Tigers outgained the Golden Bears 261 yards to 80 in the final two quarters. The UWA defense allowed Miles just 11 yards in the fourth quarter.

With the win, Tiger head coach Brett Gilliland tied Frank North for most all-time coaching wins at UWA with 31. Gilliland 31-17 in two games into his fifth season at his alma mater. North was 31-29 in six years (1979-84).

"That is special to because I know coaches on that list," Gilliland said. "Great coaches like Micky Andrews, Jim King, Coach North and Bobby Wallace. I am nowhere close to being the coach they all were."

Since the end of September of the 2016 season, Gilliland and his staff have guided the Tigers to 18 wins in the last 22 games, a winning percentage of 82 percent.

Saulsberry caught two touchdown passes from Satterwhite and returned a kickoff 95 yards for another score. The junior from Southhaven, Mississippi, finished with six receptions for 98 yards as the Tigers piled up 317 yards passing.

"I just trusted my blocks and was able to make something happen," Saulsberry said of his kickoff return. "I can't tell you what happened during the last 30 yards. I was just trying to make a difference."

Sophomore wide out Bayley Blanchard hauled in a career-high nine receptions for 75 yards, including a 2-yard scoring toss from Satterwhite late in the first half to give UWA a 20-14 lead at the break.

"Harry put the ball on the money," Blanchard said. "He is a great quarterback and as long as we keep working good things will happen."

Satterwhite finished 30-for-41 for 292 yards to go along with the four TD passes. Backup Jacob Murphree completed 3-of-4 attempts for 25 yards.

"We had some great receivers last year, but these guys are as good as anybody I've played with," Satterwhite said. "The more we play together the more confidence we will get."

Satterwhite and Qua Boyd also hooked up on a 4-yard scoring pass to cap a nine-play, 74-yard drive with 12:46 left in the first half to give UWA a 13-7 advantage. Boyd finished with four receptions for 60 yards.

Miles opened the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Smith to Leonard Tyree. Brady Hammel drilled the PAT to make it Miles 7, UWA 0 with 12:26 left in the first quarter. Smith and Leonard hooked up again, this time from 20 yards, to make it 14-13 Miles with 7:43 left in the first half.

Saulsberry returned the kickoff following Tyree's first score for 95 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Bennett missed the PAT and Miles still led, 7-6, with 12:07 left in the first quarter.

"A 95-yard return is pretty sporty," Gilliland said. "Christian is hard to tackle, but there are also 10 other guys out there doing their job. He has a chance to be a dynamic player."

Satterwhite and Blanchard connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 left in the first half. Bennett's kick was good and UWA took a 20-14 lead into the half.

Satterwhite threw for his third TD pass of the game, these one 43 yards to Saulsberry, who dragged a handful of Miles defenders into the endzone. They hooked up again for UWA's final score, this one a 38-yard scoring pass with 5:43 to go in the third period.

Jordan Bennett added a 31-yard field goal and four extra points to round out Tiger scoring.
Miles final score came when Jaylun Thomas scooped up a Murphree fumble and rumbled 96 yards for a touchdown with 2:54 left to play.

De'Mon Anderson led West Alabama ball carriers with 47 yards on four fourth quarter carries. Derrick Underwood gained 25 yards on four carries.

Tiger safety Nicarius Peterson intercepted two passes, giving him three for the season. Terry Samuel led Tiger tacklers with nine stops despite being ejected from the game late in the second quarter for targeting.

Jordan Jones had eight tackles, including a sack and 2.5 for loss. Chase Mitchell and Tavaris Hutchinson chipped in seven tackles apiece, including a tackle for loss for both. Danny Rambo broke up three passes and Abraham Wallace two.

Santee Marshall had 45 yards on 11 carries to lead Miles rushers. Leonard caught eight passes for 125 yards, while LeAnthony Robinson also caught eight balls for 74 yards. Smith completed 24-of-43 for 278 yards. He was intercepted twice.

Austin Stephens had 12 tackles for the Golden Bears, followed by Rodney Coleman with eight.

West Alabama opens Gulf South Conference play Saturday, Sept. 15 by hosting Valdosta State. Miles plays its first home game on Sept. 15 when Fort Valley State comes to Birmingham.