By James Vallone
LIVINGSTON, Ala. – After a scoreless first quarter that saw the Hawks outgain the No. 16 West Alabama Tigers, 64-19, 16th-ranked West Alabama was able to win the Gulf South Conference match up 49-7.
Eric Dodson went 4-for-12 passing for 46 yards. He added another 25 yards on the ground on 15 carries. Dodson was able to account for the team's only score, when he took a 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 36 seconds remaining before halftime.
Shorter (4-4, 0-2 GSC) was able to control the time of possession battle, 37:53 to 22:07, winning the battle of the clock each quarter. However, West Alabama (6-2, 3-0 GSC) was able to outgain the Hawks by the end of the game with a 419-208 advantage.
The Hawks have been hurt by turnovers and penalties this season, neither being the case on Saturday. The turnover were tied at one, with Shorter only being flagged for 52 yards of penalties.
The Tigers were able to convert the lone Hawks turnover into points when Otha Foster returned a fumble 41 yards for a score 42 seconds into the second quarter, to take a 7-0 lead.
West Alabama was able to take advantage of field position thanks to special teams, as they averaged 52.4 yards per kick-off return and also took a punt return 74 yards for a score.
The Hawks' defense was led by Dominique Henfield, who totaled seven tackles with one for loss. Laynce Sanders, coming off of a 3.5 sack game last week, added another sack to his total. He now has 5.5 sacks for the season as he is closing in on the single season mark of seven, held by Logan Lollis and Andrew Schrampfer.
Kendall Lacey added another interception to his total on the first possession for UWA and returned it to the Tiger 15, which was his second interception on the season. The drive stalled and Shorter had to settle for a Troy Postell field goal attempt that was blocked by Mario Gainer.
The Hawks will return to GSC action on Thursday as they host Valdosta State for a 7:30 pm kick-off from Barron Stadium in the GSC Game of the Week to be broadcast on CSS.