Sam Vaughn threw for 369 yards and connected with 10 different receivers while No. 13 UWF’s defense smothered Shorter in a 51-7 victory at Blue Wahoos Stadium Saturday night.
UWF (2-1, 1-0 Gulf South Conference) put up a school-record 568 yards of total offense and tied the record for points in a game. The Argonauts also posted the second-highest margin of victory in program history, just behind the 45-point difference in the inaugural game at Ave Maria in 2016.
The Argos scored on their first three possessions, going 69 yards on 13 plays and 10 plays, respectively to open up a 14-0 lead. They made is a 20-0 game following a 6-play, 39-yard drive that came off a fumble recovery. That fumble recovery by Austin Dukes also marked the debut of the UWF Turnover Shield – a replica shield that would have been used by an Argonaut warrior and is signed by the player who had a hand in the turnover once they return to the sideline.
UWF added an Austin Williams field goal and touchdowns from Hiram Velez and Anthony Johnson, Jr. for a 37-0 lead at the half.
Antoine Griffin got in on the fun with a 23-yard touchdown reception from Vaughn midway through the third. Redshirt freshman Jerquan Newton ended the scoring for the Argos in the third quarter with a 9-yard scamper up the middle on a drive that began with a short field following an interception by Damarius Brinson – the first for the Argos this season. Newton finished his first game for the Blue and Green with 52 yards on 13 carries.
UWF held a 531-39 edge in total yards after three quarters. They ended the game with 186 rushing yards, led by Chris Schwarz’s 16 carries for 112 yards. Johnson had two touchdowns and 37 yards on the ground.
Ishmel Morrow led UWF’s receiving corps with seven catches for 94 yards. Tate Lehtio added six receptions for a career-high 86 yards.
Vaughn was 25-of-34 for 73.5 percent – good for the second-highest completion percentage in a game at UWF. His 369 passing yards are the third-highest in 29 all-time contests.
Austin Williams scored nine points on six point-after attempts and a 36-yard field goal, while putting eight of nine kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback and the ninth was fair caught at the one.
Shorter’s score came on a fumble recovery in the end zone when Coey Watson completed a 21-yard pass to Joseph Ross that UWF’s Noah Biggs punched out at the 1 before Ross recovered in the end zone.
Watson was 11-for-21 for 63 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while filling in for regular starter Tyler Pullum. The Hawks (0-3, 0-1) had just 11 first downs and were just 3-of-12 on third-down conversions with all three coming in the fourth quarter.
The loss was Shorter’s 31st-consecutive defeat.
UWF will now hit the road for the next three weeks, traveling to Mississippi College (2-0) next Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest at Robinson-Hale Stadium in Clinton, Miss. The game is the GSC Game of the Week and will be available on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The UWF Sports Network will also have live coverage on 94.5 FM ESPN Pensacola beginning at 6:30 p.m.