North Greenville earns hard-fought win over West Alabama in season opener

August 31, 20161st2nd3rd4thFinal
West Alabama709723
North Greenville1070724
1st Quarter
NGUFG11:43M. Gravely 47 Yd
NGUTD08:06A. Heard 35 Yd Run (M. Gravely kick)
UWATD04:02Austin Grammer 12 Yd Run (Reed James kick)
2nd Quarter
NGUTD06:49J. Smith 22 Yd Pass From W. Hunter (M. Gravely kick)
3rd Quarter
UWATD09:25Donta Armstrong 4 Yd Pass From Austin Grammer (Reed James missed kick)
UWAFG05:58Reed James 37 Yd
4th Quarter
UWATD07:32Tray Fletcher 13 Yd Pass From Austin Grammer (Reed James kick)
NGUTD01:40T. Scott 10 Yd Run (M. Gravely kick)
Stats at a GlanceUWANGU
1st Downs1918
3rd Down Conversions7-188-17
4th Down Conversions1-30-1
Passing (Comp-Att)266 (29-42) 130 (12-27)
Rushing (Att)157 (37) 264 (45)
Total Yards423394
Fumbles Lost01
North Greenville earns hard-fought win over West Alabama in season opener
Thursday, September 1, 2016
North Greenville earns hard-fought win over West Alabama in season opener
Photo by Jake Hardin

Tigerville, S.C. – North Greenville’s Sam Houston broke the record for tackles in a career while Ashton Heard paced the offense with 182-yards on the ground, leading the Crusaders to a 24-23 win over West Alabama.

Houston finished the night with a game high 14-tackles, snapping the previous record set by Andre Bernardi with his first tackle of the second half. The record setter was Houston’s 246th career tackle. Freshman Collin Sneed added 101-yards rushing in his first college action as NGU finished with 314-yards on the ground.

North Greenville jumped out front in the first half with a field goal from Matt Gravely. Heard would put NGU up 10-0 later in the quarter with his first rushing touchdown of 2016. The point after would sail through leaving 8:06 on the first quarter clock.

West Alabama would find pay dirt later in the quarter, as Austin Grammar’s 12-yard scamper would cut the North Greenville lead to three. The Tigers took advantage of NGU’s only turnover of the game, a fumble on the 30-yardline. The Crusaders would tack on one more touchdown in the second quarter. Will Hunter would hook up with Javon Smith for the only touchdown pass of the game to up NGU’s lead to 17-7, capping the first half scoring.

West Alabama would seize the momentum in the second half scoring twice in the third quarter. A touchdown and a field goal would cut North Greenville’s lead to just one-point after the Tigers missed an extra point. One more touchdown with 7:32 left in the game earned UWA its first lead of the game, a 23-17 advantage.

North Greenville’s offense stalled for most of the second half but finally found some momentum in its final drive of the night. Collin Sneed would drive the Crusaders down the field, setting up a first and goal inside the 10-yard line. Tracy Scott would cap the drive with his first career touchdown, earning NGU the one point lead following the extra point, leaving 1:40 on the clock.

The Tigers picked up a first down on the ensuing drive but the Crusader defense would hold, forcing a turnover on downs and securing North Greenville’s first win of the season.

The Crusaders finished with 444-yards on 72 plays while the Tigers finished with 423 total yards of offense. Will Hunter threw for 96-yards and NGU’s only passing touchdown while Sneed chucked the ball for 34-yards.

The win over West Alabama is NGU’s first victory over a Gulf South Conference team since defeating Shorter in 2014. The Crusaders are 1-0 on the season with a game against Lenoir-Rhyne scheduled for next Saturday at 7pm in Hickory, North Carolina.