CEDAR CITY, Utah -- Christian Lopez tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Dexter Boykin with 12 seconds remaining and North Alabama won its first game played as an FCS member with a 34-30 victory over Southern Utah in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.
The Lions moved from Division II and will compete in the ASUN Conference.
North Alabama trailed 23-20 late in the fourth quarter when Lopez hit Boykin with a 31-yard touchdown strike with 4:47 remaining.
Southern Utah answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run from James Felila that put the Thunderbirds back on top, 30-27, with 2:02 left. Lopez then led the nine-play, 75-yard game-winning drive. Lopez's pass was intercepted at the goal line with 29 seconds left, but a roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive.
Lopez was 24-of-43 passing for 350 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Lopez also had 15 carries for 105 yards. Boykin had eight catches for 135 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Chris Helbig was 28 of 38 for 316 yards passing and threw two touchdown passes.
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