Argos secure winning season: Playoffs within reach

By Steve Likovetz
Staff writer

More than 5,000 fans witnessed the University of West Florida secure its first winning season Saturday when the Argos avenged last season’s 51-3 shellacking by dominating the mighty Lions of the University of North Alabama 30-7.

“I think you really saw what a complete game from our team looked like,” Coach Pete Shinnick said. “Our defense was phenomenal.”

This win not only secured a winning record for this season, but put the Argos into playoff contention.

Argo kicker Austin Williams connects on a 44-yard field goal in the third quarter giving the Argos a 23-7 lead. (Photo by Steve Likovetz)

While the Argos are ranked outside the top 10 of Super Region Two, a win in the season finale over West Georgia, currently ranked fourth in the region, would give UWF another quality win and an equal or better in-region and Division II record than six of the teams currently ranked in region’s top 10.

However, on Saturday night, Argo players were more focused on the program’s first signature win against a traditional Division II power.

“It’s unreal, it’s a great feeling just knowing that all the stuff we’ve put in, all the hard work as paid off in a game like this,” Beaudry said. “Today was that point where I felt like we just tipped over and we were there to finish it.”

The Argos struck first when sophomore Austin Williams connected on a 36-yard field goal.

After UNA’s Delvon Carpenter fumbled the kick-off, the Argos capitalized with another 27-yard field goal to go up 6-0.

Argo quarterback Mike Beaudry leads team to a 30-7 victory. (Photo by Steve Likovetz)

The crowd audibly gasped when Carpenter returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to give the lions the lead 7-6 before the quarter ended, but that would be the last time UNA put points up as the Argo defense played their best game of the season.

The Argos scored their first touchdown in the second quarter, a 28-yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Beaudry to junior wide receiver Carlos Duclos, and went into halftime leading 13-7.

The third and fourth quarter were much of the same. Beaudry, who went 18-30 with 194 yards, added two more touchdowns, Williams connected on another field goal, and the Argos got the win against a top-tier Gulf South Conference team to bring their record to 6-3.

Field position was a key factor in this game. Argo receiver Antoine Griffin continually put the team in a position to score with six punt returns for a total of 108 yards.

“Our coach spoke about it this week saying it’s there,” Griffin said. “Our outside guys did a good job putting blocks on when I did get the ball in my hands.”

The Argos will finish the regular season Saturday at West Georgia.

Argo players and fans celebrate the win over the Lions of UNA. (Photo by Steve Likovetz)

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