FLORENCE, Ala. – Dennis Norfleet scored on a two-yard run with just 19 seconds left in the game to lift Tuskegee to a 35-31 win over North Alabama in the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs at Braly Municipal Stadium.
With the win the 10-2 Golden Tigers advance to play West Georgia in the quarterfinals of the Division II Playoffs. North Alabama ends its season at 9-3.
UNA trailed 28-17 in the fourth quarter before rallying to tie the game with 8:15 to play. The Lions then took a 31-28 lead with 3:54 remaining. Tuskegee faced a third-and-ten at the UNA 35-yard line when quarterback Kevin Lacey completed a 33-yard pass to Desmond Reece to the two. Norfleet then scored on the following play.
North Alabama’s offense struggled throughout the day, picking up just 43 rushing yards on 35 attempts. Quarterback Luke Wingo was 20-of-35 for 245 yards, threw one interception and was sacked five times.
Tuskegee rushed 258 yards and threw for another 176 to finish with 434 total yards. The UNA defense picked off four passes and recovered a fumble but it wasn’t enough.
Wingo was picked off on the game’s opening series and Tuskegee turned it into a touchdown, driving 17 yards in three plays for a score. Norfleet scored on an eight-yard run and Kemuel Lawrence’s PAT made it 7-0 at 12:22 of the first quarter.
UNA got a 39-yard Kevin Henke field goal to make it 7-3 at 9:53 of the opening period.
The Lions then took the lead when James Rivers picked off a Lawrence pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. Henke’s PAT made it 10-7 13:29 of the second quarter.
A six-yard TD run by Lacey put Tuskegee back on top 14-10 with 53 seconds left in the half.
A Philbert Martial interception and 34-yard return set up UNA’s next score as the Lions regained the lead. Wingo scored on a two-yard run and Henke’s PAT made it 17-14 at 9:54 of the third quarter.
Marquel Gardner pulled in a 28-yard TD pass from Lacey at 4:06 of the third quarter to make it 20-17. The extra-point attempt was blocked but Tuskegee offensive lineman Leeward Brown picked it up and ran in for the two-point conversion to push the lead to 22-17.
Branden Wilson then scored on a four-yard run for Tuskegee to make it 28-17. Lawrence’s kick was blocked.
A 36-yard Henke field goal at 10:40 of the fourth quarter made it 28-17 and Wingo then scored on a one-yard run with 8:15 to play to make it 28-26. Wino tied the game with a two-point conversion pass to Lee Mayhall.
Henke’s third field goal of the day, this one from 27, gave UNA a 31-28 lead with 3:54 to play.
Tuskegee then drove 72 yards in 10 plays for the game-winning score.