Travon Stanford made a big stop late to end Morehouse’s last-minute drive and secure a 24-16 win for visiting West Alabama.
The Tigers’ defense, led by Stanford, Shemar Lewis, and Lamar Gray, gave the Maroon Tigers’ offense fits in the first half. West Alabama held the Morehouse offense to 62 yards of total offense and forced a fumble in the first half.
The fumble came at the worst time for the home-standing M-Tigers. After a 4-yard sack pushed their back against the goal line, Morehouse quarterback Derrach West attempted to drop back to pass. TJ Newell came clean off the corner, caught up with West, and hit the quarterback popping the ball into the air and hands of Terrance Monroe at the 7. Monroe took a few steps before being knocked out of bounds at the five.
Demetrius Battle took the next two snaps finding the end zone with the second. Battle led the Tigers rushing attack with 69 yards on 19 carries.
The M-Tigers offense thrived on the momentum generated by the defense. Defensive back Darien Pittman added to his 4 career interceptions by picking off Tucker Melton on the fourth play of the game.
Morehouse turned the play into a 3-0 lead.
Dantez Simpson’s ball-jarring hit on Antonio Brown that was recovered by Marques Gibson became a second M-Tigers touchdown.
West Alabama attempted to use the 240-pound Battle to grind out the remaining two minutes on the clock. The M-Tigers had other thoughts. Demetrius Land stopped Battle for no gain at the Tigers’ 45 to give the offense a last-minute try.
West reached into his bag. The rangy quarterback fired a 10-yard strike to Delancey Tolliver and then rushed for another 19. Inside the red zone, West Alabama’s defense tightened up. With 4 seconds remaining, West sprinted toward the end zone. Stanford met West at the five to shut the comeback attempt down and preserve the Tigers’ first win of the season.
West Alabama travels to nearby Miles College. The Golden Bears dropped their season opener to Division 1 opponent Alabama State in Montgomery. Miles held the Hornets scoreless over the final three quarters while adding 13 points of their own.
Morehouse welcomes West Georgia to the West End next Saturday. The Wolves routed Carson Newman in the Wolves Den on Thursday night.
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All photos credit Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports