BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Samford football team built a 35-7 halftime lead and held on late to defeat the West Alabama Tigers, 49-41 Thursday night at Seibert Stadium.
In the win for Samford (2-0), Devlin Hodges completed 30-of-47 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns. Kelvin McKnight caught 13 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Roland Adams led the running game with 53 yards on 12 carries, while Hodges had 51 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Darius Harvey returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, and he also intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for a score. Omari Williams returned another interception 63 yards for a touchdown in the game, as well. Williams and Ahmad Gooden shared the team lead in tackles with eight each. Gooden also had three sacks in the game.
For West Alabama (1-1), Harry Satterwhite completed 36-of-52 passes for 401 yards and two touchdowns. Donta Armstrong caught nine passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while Barnard McGhee had nine catches for 155 yards and one score. Kejuan Feagan led the Tigers in tackles with 10.
In the first quarter, Samford jumped out to an early 14-0 lead. Samford outscored UWA, 21-7 in the second quarter to take a 35-7 advantage into the locker room at halftime. The quarter was highlighted by Harvey's 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The play came immediately after UWA's Armstrong returned a Samford punt 57 yards for a score.
In the third quarter, West Alabama outscored Samford, 14-7 to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 42-21. Back-to-back fourth-quarter touchdowns by UWA pulled the Tigers to within one score at 42-35. Harvey then came up big for the Bulldogs with his 23-yard pick-six to make the score 49-35. UWA added a touchdown with 2:08 to go, but the PAT was no good, leaving the score at 49-41. Samford was able to run out most of the clock, giving UWA the ball back with just seven seconds left. A Satterwhite pass was completed to Armstrong for 27 yards to the UWA 33-yard line, but the clock ran out and Samford held on for the 49-41 win.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 16, when the Bulldogs travel to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. (CT) start from Sanford Stadium.