UWF Defeats West Alabama 36-24 On Senior Day

October 30, 2022

The  UWF football team rushed for 293 yards and got a school-record five field goals from Griffin Cerra to defeat West Alabama, 36-24, at Pen Air Field on Saturday.

UWF (7-1, 5-1 Gulf South) extended its winning streak to five games and completed its home regular-season with a 4-1 mark.

Peewee Jarrett passed for just 93 yards but ran for a game-high 114 yards – also a UWF quarterback record – on 15 carries with a touchdown to keep the Tigers potent run defense at bay much of the game.

“Peewee used his legs extremely well tonight and we needed it,” UWF head coach Pete Shinnick said.

Additionally, CJ Wilson rushed for 86 yards on 10 carries and Ra’veion Hargrove totaled 50 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown.

On Saturday, the Argonauts fell behind 10-7 early in the second quarter before getting three Cerra boots and a 23-yard touchdown run by Hargrove to go ahead 23-10 midway through the third.

UWA stopped the skid with a Bry Webb score from a yard out but it would be a very short celebration for the visitors.

CJ Wilson broke off a 27-yard run on first down before Jarrett went deep to David Durden on a dead sprint in the back of the end zone for a 48-yard bomb over the top that put the Argos ahead 30-17.

“I thought that throw and catch was spectacular,” Shinnick said. “We needed that. We had just had a CJ Wilson run prior to that so a two play, 75-yard drive was huge.”

The Tigers scored two minutes later, converting a double pass when Demetrius Battle found Darius Nalls in open space for a 57-yard touchdown that cut the UWF lead to 30-24.

But the Argos got Cerra field goals of 36 and 31 yards while chewing up a combined 9:58 off the clock in the final quarter. In between, the Tigers had a 3-and-out that halted any chance of momentum they might have had.

UWF had tremendous field position all game, with an average starting spot on its own 43 yard line. Durden had 94 of his 142 all-purpose yards on punt returns, including two huge returns of 38 and 21 yards that setup the Argos on the UWA side of the field. The ensuring Argo possessions both resulted in field goals as UWF regained momentum.

Cerra’s career day saw him tie the GSC record for made field goals, matching six previous kickers, including Colin Karhu of North Greenville last week against UWA. Cerra scored a career-high 18 points.

Cerra and Durden were just the tip of the iceberg for the UWF special teams on Saturday. Steve Dawson punted twice for a 48.5 average and Da’quan Bailey-Brown had kickoff returns of 51 and 21 yards.

UWA (4-5, 2-4) finished with 421 yards of total offense with 255 through the air. Tucker Melton was 14-for-27 for 198 yards with an interception.

UWF will now hit the road for its final two regular-season games, beginning next Saturday at Valdosta State (4-5, 2-4). Kickoff at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in Valdosta, Georgia is at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Photo: Morgan Givens


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