UWF Stuns Nationally Ranked West Georgia 34-29

November 12, 2017

The UWF football team knew facing a nationally-ranked West Georgia squad that had won its last six home games and was playing for a potential playoff home game would be a tall order. But they also had played with the best in the Gulf South Conference and were up to the task themselves.

UWF (7-3, 5-3) scored 24 unanswered and got an outstanding effort from its defense over the final 45 minutes to end the regular-season tied for second in the final league standings. UWF’s 395 yards of total offense was its third-highest this season and helped the squad finish 4-1 on the road in 2017.

Freshman Mike Beaudry threw for 236 yards on 19-of-35 with four touchdowns against the top-rated defense in the league which was seventh nationally allowing just 268.8 yards per game. The Argonauts also rushed for 159 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

Sophomore Chris Schwarz had a career-best 94 yards on 17 rushes, while senior Leroy Wilson and freshman Anthony Johnson, Jr. combined for 55 yards on 15 plays.

Senior tight end Austin Blake-Smith had a great game, hauling in five catches for 32 yards, including a pair of touchdowns.

Defensively, UWF was in the UWG backfield 14 times on the 62 plays with five sacks and nine additional tackles for loss. The defense held the Wolves to minus-2 yards rushing over the final three quarters.

UWG (8-3, 5-3) had 398 yards of total offense but just 199 after the first quarter. Willie Candler completed 19 passes for 295 yards, with scoring plays of 72 and 41 yards.

Things got off to a rough start as UWG scored on its first play from scrimmage when Candler connected with DeNiko Carter for a 72-yard pass and catch. The point after was missed as the Wolves led 6-0 just 19 seconds into the game. Trey Wiggins made a 20-yard field goal and Mikell Lands-Davis found the end zone on a 22-yard run that put UWG up 16-0 at the end of the first.

After managing just 30 yards in the opening 15 minutes, the Argos’ offense started to get into a rhythm in the second. UWF outgained the home squad 139-19 in the second frame, pulling to within 16-14 at the break.

UWF secured its first score when Beaudry found Ka’Ron Ashley from 12 yards at the midway point, before Rodney Coates made the catch of the year, grabbing a corner route ball with one hand fully extended with 12 seconds to play.

After punting on its first possession of the second half, UWF sophomore Trent Archie forced and recovered a Candler fumble. Beaudry and company needed just 57 seconds to score, this time a pass that bounced off a defender’s hands and another player’s foot right to Blake-Smith in the end zone.

UWF got another big stop on the ensuing possession, snuffing out a UWF fake punt near midfield for a turnover on downs. Sophomore Austin Williams made a 26-yard field goal for a 24-16 lead. The Wolves answered when Shaq Roland broke a number of tackles down the sideline for a 41-yard score.

The Argos had a response for that, scoring the next 10 points – getting a 30-yard field goal from Williams and an 8-yard Beaudry-to-Blake-Smith pass that the senior tight end waltzed in after the catch. UWF led 34-23 with just over 10 minutes to play at that point.

Once again, UWG battled back and made it a 5-point game on a Candler-to-Taylor Turner pass from seven yards. But the 2-point conversion failed and UWF led 34-29 with 2:24 remaining.

The Argos ran seven plays while the Wolves burned through all three timeouts. UWF punted to UWG with 15 seconds left. Candler’s pass attempts on two plays fell incomplete, including a Hail Mary as time expired.

UWF outgained West Georgia 365-199 over the final three quarters.

UWF was ranked No. 10 in the most recent NCAA Super Region 2 Rankings and will see if the win over the Wolves – ranked No. 4 themselves – was enough to sway the regional advisory committee and award the Argos one of the seven NCAA regional berths.

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


One Response to “UWF Stuns Nationally Ranked West Georgia 34-29”

  1. clif on November 12th, 2017 2:31 pm

    Way to go Argos! Real good job on the road.

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