- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Devlin Hodges threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns, Kelvin McKnight had 136 yards receiving and two scores, and Samford held off Division II West Alabama 49-41 on Thursday night.

Samford (2-0) had a 28-point lead midway through the third quarter, but West Alabama (1-1) scored 21 straight points to pull to 42-35 with 8:11 remaining.

Samford’s Darius Harvey intercepted Harry Satterwhite’s hurried pass and returned it 23 yards for a score to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 49-35. West Alabama answered to make it 49-41 with 2:08 remaining and elected to kick it into the end zone. After six Samford plays, the Tigers got the ball back at their 6 with seven seconds left but Satterwhite’s heave to Donta Armstrong didn’t go past midfield as time expired.

Armstrong scored on a 57-yard punt return in the first half and he had 54- and 62-yard touchdowns receptions in the third quarter. At the start of the fourth, Armstrong found Barnard McGhee on a wide-receiver pass for a 63-yard TD.

Armstrong finished with 316 all-purpose yards and four scores, and Satterwhite threw for 401 yards for the Tigers.

Samford built a 14-0 lead in the first six minutes. Defensive back Omari Williams returned an interception 63 yards on West Alabama’s first offensive possession. On Samford’s next offensive play, Hodges connected with Andrew Harris for a 57-yard score.

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