UWF Knocks Off No. 1 Valdosta State 38-35 In Last Six Seconds

December 1, 2019

Anthony Johnson, Jr. scored from a yard out with 6.9 seconds remaining to lift 20th-ranked UWF to a 38-35 win over.No. 1 ranked Valdosta State in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Playoffs at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium Saturday.

Johnson’s score came following VSU scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 35-31 lead with 2:12 to play.

Quarterback Austin Reed and the school’s all-time leading receiver Tate Lehtio connected on four-consecutive plays, including a 15-yarder on fourth-and-eight near the start of the drive. A pass interference call put the ball at the nine before two incompletions made it third down. A pass to Lehtio, who had 140 receiving yards on a school-record 14 receptions, put the ball at the 1-foot line after his dive for the endzone was stopped inches shy of the goal. Both teams called timeout with 10 seconds left, setting up the final fourth down play.

UWF (10-2) improved to 6-0 all-time in road playoff games and snapped VSU’s Gulf South Conference record 25-game winning streak. The Blazers also had their 13-game home streak ended.

“Our guys believed and fought and to get our guys to go that last drive,” UWF head coach Pete Shinnick said. “Tate (Lehtio) was unbelievable and just said ‘I’m not going home; I’m not losing’ and to go and be able to make that happen was just phenomenal.

“I’m so happy for our guys, happy for our senior class to find a way to beat number one in the country. Just a great game.”

On Saturday, UWF scored first when Austin Williams made a 27-yard field goal 5:28 into the contest. The Blazers answered four plays later on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Rogan Wells to Lio’undre Gallimore.

UWF put together two scoring drives of 5-plus minutes in the second quarter, scoring on a Johnson 1-yard run early in the period and a 33-yard Austin Reed to Ka’Ron Ashley 12 seconds before halftime for a 17-7 lead.

Coming out of the intermission, the Argonauts extended their lead to 24-7 in the third quarter when they capitalized on a Blazer fumble that Andre Duncombe, Jr. returned 44 yards to the VSU 22. Jervon Newton carried the ball three times and scored from a yards out.

Each team scored on their next possessions – Seth McGill on a 12-yard run and Johnson on 4-yard rush – to set up the Blazers’ 21-unanwered points that led up to UWF’s final drive.

Reed was 25-for-37 for 298 yards and completed passes to six different receivers. In addition to Lehtio’s effort, Quentin Randolph had 72 yards receiving and Ashley had 52 to lead UWF.

UWF ran for 136 yards and was spearheaded by Johnson’s 73 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns.

VSU (10-1) outgained UWF 501-to-434 and had 335 passing yards.

The Argos defeated the Blazers for the first time in five meetings by controlling the time of possession, using a strong ground game for 35:13 of the clock, including 20:15 in the first half alone.

The Argonauts advance to next week’s Super Region 2 title game against No. 6 ranked Lenoir-Rhyne (13-0) at Moretz Stadium in Hickory, N.C. Kickoff time will be announced in the coming days.


2 Responses to “UWF Knocks Off No. 1 Valdosta State 38-35 In Last Six Seconds”

  1. Willis on December 1st, 2019 9:48 pm

    Great job Argos !!!
    Good luck next weekend !!

  2. Alan on December 1st, 2019 10:51 am

    Awesome! Congratulations on the win and good luck next weekend.

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