Carson-Newman came in to Wahoo Stadium Ranked 22nd in the country, while UWF was ranked 2nd (some polls had UWF ranked 1sr). 2017 Coach of the Year Pete Shinnick says that is what they want for the future “to play ranked teams.” The desire to play the best at a high level is important to the program.
The second-ranked UWF football team got a great defensive effort in the second half and erased a halftime deficit with 13 unanswered points en route to a 19-9 win over 22nd-ranked Carson-Newman at Blue Wahoos Stadium Thursday night.
UWF (1-0) won its first game while playing as a nationally ranked team and improved to 3-0 in season-openers and home-openers. The Argos had 329 yards of total offense while the Eagles finished with 344 – but just 67 after halftime.
UWF backup quarterback Sam Vaughn came in midway through the first quarter when starter Mike Beaudry went down with an injury. Vaughn, who admitted to having some nerves in the first half, settled down and led the Argos on a 11-play, 76-yard drive that saw him go 5-for-6 for 53 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lee Walker. The score from a Georgia graduate transfer to a Colorado graduate transfer put UWF up 13-9.
The Argos began to pull away early in the fourth with a 20-yard Austin Williams field goal and iced the game with 2:04 left on a 39-yarder from Williams. He tied his own school record with four field goals in the game. Earlier in the contest he made a pair of first quarter kicks from 35 and 39 yards to put the home team up 6-0.
Vaughn ended the game 17-for-29 for 218 yards with a TD. He also rushed for 10 yards.
C-N (0-1) tied the game at six all when Sherron Jackson busted through the middle of the line for a 68-yard touchdown. Drew Eudy put the Eagles up 9-6 with a 35-yard field goal for the halftime score.
UWF finished with three sacks on the Eagles’ split-veer offense. C-N finished with 330 yards rushing as Jackson, Antonio Wimbush and Marcus Williams each went for at least 89 yards. Jackson added a 41-yard run for 109 yards to lead all ball carriers.
For the Argos, Chris Schwarz had 43 yards on 10 carries, with Quaide Weimerskirch going for 33 yards on nine rushes.
UWF scored on its opening possession of the first and third quarters, something C-N had allowed just once in its last 12 halves of play. The Argonauts, who were playing a ranked opponent for the ninth time in the last 11 games, improved to 7-4 all-time against top-25 programs and 6-1 in the last seven.
The win was the 120th in 16 years as a head coach for Pete Shinnick. He is now 120-56 overall and 17-10 in his third season at UWF.
The Argonauts will return to action next weekend when they travel to Wichita Falls, Texas, to play No. 11 Midwestern State on Saturday, Sept. 8. Kickoff at Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the UWF Sports Network, ESPN Pensacola 94.5 FM.