Final game for Lions

Just a few weeks ago the North Alabama football team was cruising along with a 5-1 record and a playoff possibility seemed almost a certainty.

Today, the Lions are 5-4 and their season will almost certainly end Thursday night when they face West Alabama.

It’s been a disappointing four weeks for UNA. The Lions can salvage a winning season with a victory at West Alabama. With all of the freshmen this team has played and the number of injuries it has dealt with, a winning record would be quite an accomplishment.

This game has many subplots because of the coaches. UNA coach Bobby Wallace was the head coach at West Alabama from 2006-10. Wallace took over a program that had experienced very little success in its history and was certainly at the bottom when he took over. In his fourth season at West Alabama, the Tigers upset No. 1 UNA and made the Division II playoffs.

Wallace’s offensive coordinator in his final three years at West Alabama was Will Hall. The former All-America quarterback and 2003 Harlon Hill Trophy winner at UNA, Hall played a major role in the Tigers’ turnaround. When Wallace annouced his retirement from West Alabama after the 2010 season, Hall was the logical choice to be the next head coach. Hall led the Tigers to a playoff berth in 2011 and his team has already clinched a share of the GSC title this season. If the Lions beat UNA, they will be the outright conference champions and earn another playoff berth.

While a win likely won’t put UNA in the playoffs it would be a great way to end Wallace’s first season back as coach of the Lions. These two teams do not like each other, so it should be exciting. Remember, the game will be regionally televised by CSS at 6:30 p.m.

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