In Alonzo Hampton’s first home opener as head coach, Arkansas-Pine Bluff needed a stop inside their own 10 with less than a minute left on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Lions got it, getting a fourth down stop at the 4-yard line with 23 seconds left to seal the 21-20 win over Miles at Simmons Bank Field.
Freshman BJ Curry totaled 98 yards to lead the Golden Lions’ ground attack and added one touchdown, picking up 8.2 yards per carry.
Junior Mekhi Hagens also tacked 62 yards on the ground, picking up 5.2 yards per carry. Sophomore Kenji Lewis pulled in three catches for 66 yards and one score.
Junior Khalil Arnold paced the UAPB defensive effort, totaling eight tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and one recovered fumble. Senior Ewell Grant Jr. added six tackles, one recovered fumble, and one sack in the win.
The Golden Lions won the turnover battle in Saturday’s game, forcing two turnovers while coughing the ball up one time. UAPB put together a big showing on the ground, racking up 209 rushing yards while averaging 5.4 yards per carry and out-rushing Miles by 74 yards.
UAPB’s defense was reasonably well against the run, limiting Miles to 135 yards on the ground. The Golden Lions’ defense lived in Miles’ backfield all game, collecting four sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
UAPB scored first with 10:48 remaining in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. The Golden Lions followed with another score to grow the lead to 14-0.
A score from Miles cut the lead to 14-7 before UAPB scored again with 7:42 left in the third quarter and pushed its lead to 21-7. The Golden Lions managed to hold on, getting a fourth down stop at the 4-yard line with 23 seconds left to seal the win.