Posted by Joey Mullins on 2007-08-31

The Samford football team opened the 2007 season with a 23-21 win over West Alabama in front of 10,483 fans, the third-largest crowd in Seibert Stadium history, Thursday night.

"I couldn't be happier," first-year head coach Pat Sullivan said. "I'm proud of the way we won it with the defense making a stop and the offense taking the ball, making first downs and killing the clock. We have a young football team, and this was a good football team we played tonight."

Freshman running back Alex Barnett rushed for 80 yards on 14 carries in his collegiate debut. Senior quarterback Jefferson Adcock completed 16-of-38 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Joe Jones caught four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Jay McCurty registered 11 tackles, including eight solo tackles. Rodney Shepherd had 10 tackles on the night, all solo stops.

For West Alabama, Cole Mason rushed 22 times for 130 yards and a touchdown. William Grice led the Tiger defense with eight tackles.

Samford jumped on top after the first three plays of the game. Adcock hit Jones for a 25-yard touchdown with 14:15 to go in the first quarter. Mark Prevost's extra point gave Samford a 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs struck again early in the second quarter. Adrian Bradley scored on a one-yard run with 12:36 to go in the second quarter. Prevost's PAT was no good, giving Samford a 13-0 lead. Following a Samford turnover, West Alabama got on the scoreboard when Mason scored from three-yards out with 5:45 to go in the second quarter. Mitch Warfield added the PAT to cut Samford's lead to13-7.

Samford added another touchdown with 2:53 to go before halftime. Adcock hit Jonathan Lowery on a nine-yard touchdown, and Prevost added the PAT to push Samford's lead top 20-7. West Alabama came back with a touchdown on a one-yard run by Terry Allen with four seconds to go in the first half. Warfield's PAT made the score 20-14 heading into halftime.

Samford pushed its lead to 23-14 with 1:33 to go in the third quarter when Prevost kicked a 37-yard field goal.

The Tigers cut the Samford lead to 23-21 when James Reiter hit Mo Araiinejad for a 16-yard score with 10:40 to go in the fourth quarter.

The Samford defense stopped the Tigers on fourth down late in the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs were able to run out the clock from there to secure the win.

Samford will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 8, when the Bulldogs play at Georgia Tech. The game is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. Central Time start and can be seen live on ESPNU.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.