The 11th-ranked UWF football team scored 24 unanswered points and the defense posted a shutout over the final 31 minutes as the Argonauts defeated Delta State, 30-21, at Parker Field-McCool Stadium Saturday night.
The win for UWF (4-1, 3-0 Gulf South) was its first over the Statesmen in three meetings after previous losses by a combined seven points.
Saturday’s win came thanks to one of the strongest second half performances in recent memory. The defense held the Statesmen to 92 total yards after halftime, while forcing three turnovers. Andre Duncombe led the way with nine tackles, three for loss, three quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a game-clinching interception on DSU’s final play from scrimmage. Alden McClellon also had nine stops
The UWF offense was equally impressive. After managing 140 yards and two field goals in the opening 30 minutes, the Argonauts responded with 317 yards, including 213 on the ground, with an Austin Williams field goal and three Sam Vaughn passing touchdowns.
Chris Schwarz nearly matched his school-record rushing total, falling four yards short as he led all players with 171 yards on 17 carries. His biggest play of the night was a 71-yard gash on 3rd-and-1 from the UWF 15 that allowed Vaughn to connect with Ezra Saffold from the three a few plays later to put the Argos ahead 30-21 with 2:36 remaining.
UWF’s 268 rushing yards established a new school single-game record, surpassing the 264 set in the inaugural game at Ave Maria 30 games prior on Sept. 3, 2016.
Vaughn ended with 189 yards passing on 18-of-35 and rushed four times for 32 yards. He was 9-of-15 for 96 yards in the second half with all three scoring strikes.
DSU (0-5, 0-3) finished with 384 yards of total offense and dropped to 0-5 for the first time since 1997. Patrick Shegog threw for 219 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His 42-yard touchdown pass to Jake McDonald in the first quarter put the Statesmen ahead 7-0.
After Williams answered with a 30-yard field goal on UWF’s next possession, the Statesmen went 86 yards in 11 plays for a Trey Roberson run from 2-yards out to build a 14-3 lead. The Argos answered with another Williams kick – this time from 32 yards – before another DSU score just before halftime put the home team up 21-6 at the break.
The Argos scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 21-16. The defense meanwhile, forced the Statesmen into four-consecutive punts, including a pair of 3-and-outs. Vaughn found Lee Walker in the end zone on a 10-yard pass play early in the fourth that gave UWF its first lead of the contest at 23-21.
UWF will conclude its current 3-game road swing with a non-conference game at North Alabama (3-2) next Saturday. Kickoff at Braly Stadium in Florence, Ala., is set for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the UWF Sports Network, ESPN Pensacola 94.5 FM.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE: UWF was 5-for-5 in the red zone with three field goals and two touchdowns … UWF totaled 457 yards (its second-highest in 2018) on 71 plays (its second-fewest in 2018) … The Argos committed a season-low four penalties for just 30 yards – the four miscues are the fifth-lowest total in a game in program history … Austin Williams went 3-for-3 on field goals, extending his streak of consecutive makes to seven. He now has 38 career field goals, moving into ninth place on the Gulf South Conference career list … UWF wore all white uniforms and white helmets for the first time this season. The Argos used the same combination throughout their road run to the national championship a year ago and are now 8-2 all-time in white helmet, white jersey and white pants – its winningest combo.