Florence, Ala. – Coach Terry Bowden’s third ranked North Alabama (7-0) Division II powerhouse was cautioned in the local Florence Times Daily to be cautious of a letdown against visiting North Greenville Thursday night.
Bowden’s Lions, which boasted 25 Division I transfers (eight from Florida State alone that were starters), dominated the Crusaders at Braley Municipal Stadium en route to a 50-3 win. North Greenville (1-6) lined up against a stout defense that, to open the game, included all former Division I starters. The Lions out-gained the overmatched Crusaders 477 yards to 73 for North Greenville. The Crusaders could manage a meager three yards through the air and were unable to move the ball all evening. NGU avoided the shutout late in the fourth quarter when Jereme Green knocked the ball out of the hands of Lion quarterback Cory Eddington and NGU’s Johnell Bell recovered it at the UNA 14 yard line. NGU was unable to put the ball in the end zone and Zach Sears booted a 24 yard field goal with four minutes left. “We knew they were a much better football team than us and our plan was to run the clock as much as possible to shorten the game to keep us in it,” Coach Jamey Chadwell said. “In the first half, I thought our defense did some decent things to keep us in it. We had a chance to stay close in the first quarter but we made some mistakes on our punting game and that cost us some momentum. They started off slowly on offense, but after they blocked that punt, they gained some momentum and got after us at that point.” “Our guys played hard and I was proud of the effort. I had a chance to talk to Coach (Terry) Bowden before the game and they have something like 20 Division I transfers. They are just a better football team than us right now. North Alabama is a big time football program that is well established. If you’re in Division II, you know about UNA. “We talked to our players about not being intimidated before the game. You know what’s on the front of their jersey, and our guys knew they had a bunch of transfers, but our guys were excited about playing a really good football team. Coming in, we told them exactly what we needed to do to have a chance to win. We did some decent things there, but I was proud that our guys kept fighting until the end.” “We got some points on the board and that’s always a positive. It shows our guys the level they need to be at to be competitive in Division II. If we want to get good and get in the playoffs, this is the type of team you’ve got to play and beat. At least as a program, we know where we are in the scheme of things try to win big time championships.” Coach Terry Bowden spoke with Jamey Chadwell prior to the game and he told Chadwell that you just can’t out coach talent. “I coached four years at small colleges too and I don’t care where you’re at, if all the teams on your schedule have more talent than you, you’re not going to win. I know Coach Chadwell’s only been there one year and for them to compete at this level, they just need to get better players to come in.” “We’ve been established here for many years and I know that if we weren’t 7-0, I wouldn’t be here. Everybody’s got establish to themselves and he’s got some work to do. I told him that my first year as a head coach, I was 0-7. I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to be a head coach for very long. It takes time to get that talent level where it needs to be and to establish that winning attitude and to believe in yourself. Division II is a very talented level of football. I know NGU was a junior college for a long time and there has to be a commitment to get to the next level. I was really impressed with Jamey after talking him before the game. He made a very good first impression on me. I hope that North Greenville has the resources to give him the ability and the opportunities to be successful at this level.” Bowden added, “the one thing that impressed us about NGU is that they played hard the whole game. Last year, they held our offense in check the whole game and they played hard every snap of the way tonight. It’ll be fun to watch their journey.” “I’m very happy to be the head coach at North Greenville University and to be able to be run out on the field with these guys every week,” Chadwell said. “But more importantly, we’ve good group of guys who are proud to represent Jesus Christ too. We all try to hold up to that standard; we know that we all fall short of that, but we try to show that we believe but what we do on the field.” “Scoring points against them was a small victory. I told them that I was proud that they kept playing hard. We do have to try to correct some of mistakes that we made so that we don’t make them against Charleston next week. Charleston is ranked #11 in Div II and our schedule hasn’t been very good for a first year coach. It teaches great character playing these great teams. If we want to be a top 25 program, we’ve got to play those teams to see if we can get there.” “I hope we have a good crowd for Homecoming next week and I think our guys will be happy to be at home after four week on the road.”