UWF Dominates Wingate, 31-0, In NCAA First Round Victory

November 19, 2017

WINGATE, N.C. – Coming into Saturday’s NCAA Division II Football First Round game at No. 3 seed Wingate, No. 6 seed UWF became the fastest startup program to reach the postseason. After the 31-0 dismantling of the Bulldogs, they can now lay claim to being the fastest program to win a playoff game.

From the third play of the game when Jalen Spencer intercepted Wingate quarterback Dylan Williams and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown, the UWF defense announced it was going to be the focal point of the day. Spencer got his second interception on the Bulldogs’ next drive returning it 15 yards to the UWF 30, eventually leading to an Austin Williams 51-yard field goal – tying his own career-long.

By the end of the 60-minutes at Irwin Belk Stadium, the Argonauts held 16th-ranked Wingate to a season-low 205 yards of total offense, sacked Williams a school-record nine times, picked him off three times and did its part to put all four Gulf South Conference teams into the Super Region 2 semifinals.

Marvin Conley, Reggie Barnes and Johnathan Coleman each posted double-digit tackles. The Argos have combined for 21 sacks and 38 tackles for loss over the last three contests.

UWF (8-3) ended with 289 yards of total offense –129 on the ground and 160 through the air. Mike Beaudry was 18-for-31 with three passing touchdowns and an interception.

Beaudry’s first scoring play came at the end of the half on a drive setup by a 35-yard Antoine Griffin punt return to just about midfield. With the Argos leading 10-0, he capped a 12-play, 53-yard drive with a 10-yard pass to Tate Lehtio, where the sophomore lept over a Wingate defender from the 2-yard line to reach the end zone.

UWF left no doubt about the outcome at the start of the second half, taking the opening possession 82 yards over 13 plays that saw Griffin haul in a 17-yard pass for the score. The drive took 6:43 off the clock and was the longest scoring drive of the season while putting UWF up 24-0.

They added a final score following a fumble forced by Trent Archie that Daryl Wilson recovered at the Wingate 31. Beaudry and company needed just three plays before he tossed a ball to tight end Austin Blake-Smith for a 13-yard touchdown. It was Blake-Smith’s fourth TD in the last four games.

The UWF kicking game was also strong on Saturday as punter Colton Norris and placekicker Austin Williams battled strong winds all game. Norris punted seven times and placed five inside the 20-yard line, while Williams made all three point after touchdown attempts, drew to within one made field goal of the GSC single-season record of 23 and put four of his six kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

UWF advances to the NCAA Second Round where it will travel to West Georgia (9-3) and face the Wolves for the second time in three weeks. UWG defeated Virginia State, 35-9, in its first round game. Kickoff time and ticket prices for the game at University Stadium in Carrollton, Ga. will be announced in the coming days.

Photo by Jim Wright for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Escambia Academy Wins AISA State Championship

November 18, 2017

The Escambia Academy Cougars are the AISA 2A state champions after  a 30-20 win Friday afternoon over top-ranked Autauga Academy at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.

The Cougars were first on the board with a 1-yard keeper from quarterback Jabe Dawe, capping a 7-run drive that included a 52-yard run from Patrick McGhee to the three. With a missed point after, the EA Cougars were up 6-0. Dawe found senior Neikel Robinson with a 50-yard pass to expand the Cougars’ lead to 12-0.

Escambia Academy’s MJ Jones sacked an Autauga General forcing a fumble that was recovered by EA’s Jason Davis who returned 27-yards for  a touchdown and an 18-0 lead. Late in the first quarter, Autauga cut their deficit to 18-7, a score that held headed into halftime.

Late in the third quarter, Dawe found Fred Flavors with a 66-yard pass and Escambia Academy was up 24-7.

Friday’s championship is the second ever for Escambia Academy; the Cougars brought home the state championship in 2014. The Cougars lost to Autauga 28-21 in the state game last year.

Escambia Academy is located in Canoe, AL, about two miles north of the Alabama/Florida line. Students from both states attend the school.

For more photos, click here.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com by Jason Robbins/WEAR 3 and Ditto Gorme, click to enlarge.

Tate’s Nickerson And Lundquist Sign With Coastal Alabama

November 18, 2017

Two Tate High School softball standouts signed Friday to play at the college level.  Deazia Nickerson (pictured left) and Ashley Lundquist signed to Coastal Alabama North at Monroeville.

Nickerson and Lundquist played travel softball together at Panhandle Xtreme, played together for the Tate Aggies and will now room together at Coastal Alabama.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Tate’s Brown Signs With Jacksonville State, Wolfenden With Gulf Coast

November 17, 2017

Two Tate High School softball standouts have signed to play at the college level.

Hanna Brown has signed to play softball with the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks in Jacksonville, AL.

Belle Wolfenden has signed to play softball with the Gulf Coast State College in Panama City.

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Ernest Ward Splits Basketball Games With Perdido

November 17, 2017

Ernest Ward Middle School split basketball game with Perdido Thursday evening.

Perdido 33, Ernest Ward 27 (OT)

Ernest Ward 29, Perdido 20

After Fall Break, the  Ernest Ward Eagles will travel to T.R. Miller on November 27 before hosting Escambia County Middle School from Atmore on November 30 beginning at 5 p.m.

For more photos, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

All-Star Volleyball: East Tops West

November 17, 2017

The West lost to the East Thursday night 4-2 in a best of seven series at the 11th Annual Subway High School All-Star Volleyball game at the University of West Florida Field House.

The West team, representing the best seniors of Escambia County, included North Escambia players Kayla Galvan from Northview High and Brynna Magruder, Logan Hamlin and Casey Wright from Tate High School. The East team represented the best from Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

The full roster was as follows:


  • Catholic – Kayla Carrell, Ellen Floyd
  • Escambia – Kelsey Beasley, Eve Pesta, Angela Harvey
  • Northview – Kayla Galvan
  • Pensacola – Dina Razek, Malainna White, JT Barnes
  • PCA – Allaena Fulfer
  • Pine Forest – Brianna Sasser
  • Tate – Brynna Magruder, Logan Hamlin, Casey Wright
  • Washington – Madison Douglas, Elle Bardsley, Victoria Day, Jessica Butler


  • Baker – Ayajah Coleman
  • Central – Ali Hawthorne
  • Choctaw – Lindsey Legg (Honorary), Kassandra Fairly (Honorary
  • Crestview – Dominique Thompson
  • FWB – Zoey Quitugua
  • Gulf Breeze – Sam Karcher, Olivia Hepworth, Gracie Snider
  • Jay – Haylee Watson
  • Milton – McKenzie Stevenson
  • Navarre – Caitlin Bethell
  • Niceville – Bayley McMenimen, Claressa Kohler
  • Pace – Tori Butcher, Alexis Van Norman
  • Rocky Bayou – Kaylee Orr, Melanie Marchena

The coaching staff for the West Team:

  • Head Coach, Dave Bryant of West Florida Tech High School
  • Assistant Coach, Kathryn Clarke of Pensacola High School

The coaching staff for the East Team:

  • Head Coach, Mark Gough of Pace High School
  • Assistant Coach, Karson Hinds of Niceville High School

Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Alumni Cheerleaders Contribute To Tate Program

November 16, 2017

The Tate High School Alumni Cheerleaders presented a $600 donation to the Tate Aggie Cheerleader program on Wednesday. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Basketball: T.R. Miller Topples Ernest Ward (With Gallery)

November 14, 2017

T.R. Miller defeated Ernest Ward Middle School in middle school basketball action Monday evening.


T.R. Miller 26, Ernest Ward 24


T.R. Miller 56, Ernest Ward 51

Ernest Ward will travel to Jay on Tuesday before hosting Perdido on Thursday beginning at 5:00.

For more photos, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

UWF Makes Division II History With First Ever NCAA Playoff Bid

November 13, 2017

The UWF football team earned its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II Football Playoff as announced by the selection committee on Sunday.

UWF was slotted as the No. 6 seed in the Super Region 2 bracket and will travel to play at No. 3 seed Wingate on Saturday, Nov. 18. Kickoff at Irwin Belk Stadium Stadium and John R. Martin Field in Wingate, N.C. is set for 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets will go on sale Monday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. ET. Ticket prices will be announced on Monday morning. Both general admission and reserved seating will be available for purchase from the Wingate Ticket Office at wingatebulldogs.com.

The Argonauts finished the regular-season at 7-3 and in a 5-way tie for second place in the Gulf South Conference with a 5-3 record. UWF was ranked No. 10 in the most recent NCAA Super Region 2 Rankings and pulled off the biggest win in its 2-year history with a 34-29 upset at No. 18/24 West Georgia on Saturday.

Under second-year head coach Pete Shinnick, UWF has now become the fastest team ever to qualify for the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. The previous mark was three seasons held by UNC Pembroke, who did so in 2009 when Shinnick built the Braves’ program from scratch in 2007.

Wingate went 9-1 and 6-1 in the South Atlantic Conference, dropping its regular-season finale at Tusculum, 25-17.

The UWF-Wingate winner will face the winner of the No. 2 Virginia State-No. 7 West Georgia game.

The Gulf South Conference had four teams receive bids to the playoffs, led by No. 1 seed West Alabama who will have a first round bye before hosting the winner of the No. 5 Delta State-No. 4 Bowie State contest.

Pictured top and inset: Northview High graduate Blake McCall. Photos courtesy Robin L Pooling for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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.

Next Page »