Argonauts hold 2-1 record after loss to Valdosta State

By Rachel Witbracht
Staff writer

Thousands of Argo fans gathered in excitement but left in disappointment after a 30-19 loss at Maritime Park in Downtown Pensacola.

UWF put up a fair fight to the Valdosta State Blazers, but couldn’t pull through offensively during their first Gulf South Conference game.

In the first quarter, UWF struggled offensively and VSU’s defense proved to be a powerhouse. UWF’s passing game was lackluster. The only completion of the first quarter was from quarterback Mike Beaudry to Caleb Robinson for six yards.

VSU held an intense, five-minute drive that led to a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Adam Robles at just over the two-minute mark.

The Blazers scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter. Ron Johnson scored on a three-yard rush after two huge passing gains by his teammates.

UWF’s turn with the ball ended quickly as, on the first play of Argos’ next possession, John Marvin intercepted Beaudry’s pass on at the 15 and raced into the end zone to give VSU a 21-0 lead.  

The Argos attempted to kick it into high drive, but the offense never truly clicked. Austin Williams, a transfer from Victor Valley Junior College, scored three field goals at the end of the half, leading to a 21-9 score in Valdosta State’s favor.

By game’s end Williams had set the school record for field goals in a game with four, having connected on attempts of 37, 23, 41, and 27 yards en route to being named the Gulf South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.

Head coach Pete Shinnick said he was confident at the end of the first half, but said, “in the end, we just didn’t execute well enough on offense.”

At the beginning of the second half, UWF seemed to make progress by holding off Valdosta State’s offense, sacking Robles. UWF gained possession of the ball but couldn’t drive it to the end zone, a common theme in the game.

Williams, however, connected on his fourth field goal to pull the Argos to within 21-12 of the lead.

Robles returned the favor with a deep pass to wide receiver Dallas Baldner, generating another Blazer touchdown. Valdosta State then blocked a UWF punt deep in Argo territory for a safety making the score 30-12 with a quarter left in the game.

West Florida scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, a 15-yard reception by Gage Krull with 29 seconds to play, but could not catch the Blazers.   

UWF now holds the seventh position in the conference, only out of nine. The Argos’ next game is the second annual Coastal Classic against Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fla. Last year, West Florida came out on top at home against the FIT Panthers.

Despite the loss, junior wide receiver Antoine Griffin said the Argos were hopeful for success in future games.

“We know how to wear people down, so we just want to use that to our advantage,” Griffin said.

For more information about West Florida athletics, visit GoArgos.com.

 

Photo Gallery photos by Rachel Witbracht

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