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University of North Alabama wins first home opener as a Division I university

Returning Quarterback Christian Lopez executes a run play in the University of North Alabama's first game as a D-I school.
Returning Quarterback Christian Lopez executes a run play in the University of North Alabama's first game as a D-I school.

The Lions beat the Leathernecks 26-17.

Posted: Aug 30, 2019 12:49 AM

The University of North Alabama made school history tonight and put up their first victory of the season.

The Lions took the field at Braly Municipal Stadium as a Division I school as they took on Western Illinois.

As a Division II program, UNA won 14 out of the last 16 season openers. Prior to Thursday night, the Lions had an all-time 41-25-4 record in their 70 season history.

UNA also distinguished itself by winning three D-2 Championships. The school closed out last season with a four-game winning streak and managed to keep that going with a 26-17 over the Leathernecks. 

Cory Robbins, a junior who transferred to UNA this year, said he was thrilled to be joining the campus in the year that it joined the D-1 division.

"I'm expecting some post-season play for sure. I know the coaches, the players expect nothing, but the absolute best for themselves. They're putting a lot of work in and these guys got a lot of talent and they're a lot of fun to watch. So it'll be exciting," said Robbins.

Even though North Alabama is part of the Big South Conference, UNA won't be eligible to compete for the conference championship until 2022.

The Lions will next travel to Montana to face the Grizzlies on September 7. Their next home opponent will be against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs.

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