The second-ranked UWF football team was unable to contain 10th-ranked Midwestern State’s potent offense in the second half, allowing three long touchdown drives in a 38-17 loss at Memorial Stadium Saturday.
With the Argonauts holding a 14-3 lead at the half, the Mustangs got scoring drives of 65, 96 and 75 yards to take control of the contest with a 24-17 lead six minutes into the fourth quarter.
Following a 3-and-out for UWF on its next possession, MSU Texas made it a 2-score game on a 9-play, 40-yard touchdown drive with 3:52 on the clock.
Paul Manus intercepted Sam Vaughn three plays later and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown to provide the final margin.
The game started out well for UWF, scoring touchdowns on two of its first four possessions to build a 14-0 lead.
Vaughn connected with Ishmel Morrow on a 23-yard score that saw the senior receiver get both feet down inside the front right corner of the end zone.
The Argos made another big play midway through the second quarter when Vaughn connected with Ezra Saffold over the top for a 64-yard touchdown. The play was the longest of the year for the Argos and the sixth-longest passing play in program history.
On the ensuing possession, MSU Texas had its most productive drive of the half and moved the ball into the UWF red zone before being held to a 33-yard Jaron Imbriani field goal.
UWF (1-1) finished with 405 yards of total offense and 21 first downs. Vaughn threw for 255 yards on 19-of-37 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also carried the ball four times for 22 yards.
The Argos collected 150 yards on the ground with Anthony Johnson. and Chris Schwarz going for 59 and 53 yards, respectively.
Layton Rabb led the MSU Texas (2-0) offense with 334 yards passing and three touchdowns. He was 27-of-43 on the night, including 14-of-20 for 179 yards in the second half. The Mustangs also had 151 yards rushing.
UWF’s Austin Williams was 1-for-2 on field goals, making a 41-yarder on the third play of the fourth quarter that tied the game at 17-17.
UWF will return home next week when it opens Gulf South Conference play against Shorter (0-2). Kickoff at Blue Wahoos Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m.