DSU wins thriller over UNA

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 17, 2008

CLEVELAND — Delta State quarterback Garrett DeWitt overcame three first-half interceptions to lead the No. 7 Statesmen to a thrilling 34-28 come-from-behind win over No. 2 North Alabama Thursday night at McCool Stadium.

Trailing 28-27 with 3 minutes, 38 seconds to play, DeWitt led a 90-yard game-winning drive that was capped by Trevar Deed’s 2-yard TD run with 23 seconds left that made it 34-28.

The score never would have happened had DeWitt not have completed a fourth-and-23 from DSU’s 27 with 1:48 left.

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“It was a difficult situation but we executed the play,” DeWitt said of the 26-yard pass to a leaping Deed for a first down at the UNA 47.

“All I was thinking was to cut across and then turned around. I thought I was past midfield,” Deed said. Deed finished the game with 250 total yards with 150 rushing and 100 receiving.

Delta State (6-1, 5-0 Gulf South Conference) began making its comeback midway through the third quarter after an interception by defensive end Matt Melton. The pick set up a 16-yard TD pass from DeWitt to Greg Betterson to make it 21-13. The kick was blocked.

After a three-and-out by UNA and a 20-yard punt, the Statesmen went 42 yards in four plays to score on DeWitt’s 8-yard TD pass to Rob Moore. Todd Santos’ kick made it 21-20 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

The Statesmen then took the lead marching 80 yards. A 40-yard pass to Deed gave DSU a first down at the UNA 10. DeWitt followed with his fourth TD pass of the game, hitting a wide open Chad Schroeder in the front corner of the end zone. Santos’ kick made it 27-21 with 10:39 to play.

UNA answered with an 83-yard drive capped on A.J. Milwee’s 25-yard pass to Ed Gant that made it 28-27 after Tom  Schneider’s kick.

North Alabama took advantage of DeWitt’s three interceptions and a short punt to score all of its 21 first half points.

Larry Wilson took a lateral following an interception by Darron Dampier 54 yards for the Lions’ second touchdown of the game to make it 14-0. Another interception by Dampier set up A.J. Milwee’s 5-yard TD pass to Joemel Campbell that made it 21-7.

Delta State, which had more than 200 yards in the first half, managed only a 22-yard TD pass from DeWitt to Moore with 32 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 14-7.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com