Aug. 30, 2010

Courtesy of UWA

DEMOPOLIS, Ala.
- The No. 12 University of West Alabama Tigers started the 2010 season with a roar Saturday night, cruising past Shorter University 37-7 in the RockTenn Classic at Demopolis High School to begin the season 1-0. The Hawks fall to 0-1 with the loss.

Deon Williams was particularly impressive in the winning effort as the senior moved his name forward in the UWA record books as he sits now fourth all-time in total offense. He entered the contest needing just 173 yards to move past Kenneth Jones and the Tuscaloosa, Ala. native now has 4,433 yards of total offense for his career.

UWA started out of the gates on fire as the defense forced a three and out on Shorter's first possession. The Tigers proceeded to then march 75 yards for their first score on the night as T-Ray Mitchell capped off the drive with a 37-yard romp into the end zone.

The Red and White threatened to tack on another score on its next offensive possession, but the Shorter defense stuffed the Tigers on four straight plays inside the two-yard line.

Not wanting to come up entirely unrewarded, the UWA defense capitalized and earned a safety after Justin Hawkins forced Caleb Collins out of bounds in the end zone to give the Tigers a 9-0 lead with just seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The defense finished the evening not allowing a score as Shorter's lone touchdown came late in the contest on a punt return and the unit limited the Hawks to just 66 yards of offense, four first downs and no completed passes.

The teams exchanged several fruitless drives in the second quarter before the Tigers added to their lead as Williams found an open Eric McDonald to connect for a 42-yard touchdown with 4:53 remaining in the second stanza.

Following a forced fumble and recovery by the stout UWA defense, the Tigers wasted no time taking advantage of the Shorter miscue. Williams again hit one of his targets for a long strike as Randy Lowery scampered 39 yards into the end zone just 1:21 after the previous score, giving UWA a 23-0 advantage at the half.

The Tigers added another pair of scores in the second half as Williams recorded his third passing touchdown, finding Gerald Worsham in the end zone on a six-yard strike with 3:58 left in the third quarter. UWA added another score early in the fourth as Gary Johnston found Blake Plate from two yards out.

Williams finished the evening 20-28 for 329 yards and the three touchdowns. He was intercepted once. Leading the way on the ground for UWA was Mitchell who recorded 86 yards.

Brock Sharp finished the night 5-5 on extra points.