The University of North Alabama's oldest football rivalry got a shot in the arm thanks to Wednesday's news that the Lions have renewed their contract with Jacksonville State to continue the series for another four years.
The first game of the new contract lands at Jacksonville's Burgess-Snow Field on Sept. 21, 2019 and heads to North Alabama's Braly Stadium the following year, continuing that alternating pattern through the 2022 season.
UNA and JSU last met to open the 2016 season, a contest the Gamecocks won 31-12, but the rivalry itself dates back to 1949 when the Lions travelled to Jacksonville for the first meeting bewteen the two schools. Jacksonville State managed to win the first game 12-7 but North Alabama won 6-0 the following year to notch their first victory in the budding rivalry.
2019's meeting marks the first time the two teams will meet as Football Championship Subdivision institutions, with UNA's move to NCAA Division I competition beginning this fall.
The Lions haven't walked off the field a winner against the Gamecocks since September 13, 2003, a 28-16 victory that marked one of many for UNA that season. They went on to finish 13-1, making a run to the Division II semifinals.
The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 25-18-3.