North Alabama quarterback Lee Chapple completed 28-of-36 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns as the nationally top-ranked Lions defeated the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys 44-10 in non-conference football at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday night.
Arkansas Tech cut North Alabama's lead to 9-7 on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Preston Conder to Cassius Washington with 3:02 left in the second quarter, but the rest of the night belonged to the Lions.
UNA put together an 11-play, 83-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Chapple to Tristan Purifoy with 8 seconds left in the first half. The Lions went to the halftime locker room with a 16-7 advantage.
North Alabama (6-0) pulled away by scoring on its first two possessions of the second half. Demetrius Goode had a 2-yard touchdown run, Chapple threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Mo Miliam and the Lions led 30-7 with 7:46 to go in the third period.
Arkansas Tech's Jorge Vazquez made a 24-yard field goal with 4:18 left in the third, but Lucas Darr took the final wind from the Wonder Boys' sail by blocking a punt with 1:05 remaining in the quarter.
Marcus McQuarley scooped the blocked punt and scored to give North Alabama a 37-10 lead after three quarters.
The final score was set when McQuarley caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from UNA back-up quarterback Chris Alexander at the 13:42 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Lions' first touchdown of the night had also come on a long pass. Chapple hit Purifoy for a 70-yard bomb with 5:09 left in the first quarter. The point after touchdown kick was no good, and North Alabama led 6-0 after one period.
Nathen O'Jibway made a 21-yard field goal at the 5:44 mark of the second quarter to extend that lead to 9-0. The Wonder Boys came back with a 5-play, 76-yard scoring drive that resulted in the 10th touchdown pass of Conder's freshman season, but that turned out to be Tech's only touchdown of the game.
Conder completed 11-of-21 passes for 194 yards. A.J. Whitmore made five catches for 92 yards for the Wonder Boys. Chris Strong (11 tackles) and Myron Johnson (10 tackles) paced the Tech defense.
UNA's wide receiver tandem of Miliam (eight catches for 95 yards) and Purifoy (four catches for 98 yards) helped the Lions roll up 601 yards of total offense. Marcus Dowtin and Tommie Westbrook had 10 tackles apiece for the Lions.
The Wonder Boys (1-5) will return to Great American Conference play on Saturday, Oct. 15, with a 2:30 p.m. game against Southern Arkansas University at Wilkins Stadium in Magnolia.
Arkansas Tech is 0-1 in GAC play. The University of Arkansas-Monticello defeated the Wonder Boys 38-31 on Sept. 3 in Tech's only conference game so far this season.
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