West Florida upsets West Alabama, advances to D-II  semifinals

By Chris Cody
Staff writer

The University of West Florida football team defeated the University of West Alabama 28-21 to continue their improbable run into the semifinals of the Division II football playoffs.

UWF struggled in the first half, particularly on special teams as they missed a field goal and fumbled the snap on a punt that led to UWA getting great field position. UWF still kept it a one-possession game as they went into halftime trailing 14-7.

The UWF Argos beat the University of West Alabama 28-21. (Photo by Morgan Givens)

 

“I felt like we played terribly and we were still only down seven and I just told our guys if we play our best for the next 30 minutes we are going to win this game,” Coach Pete Shinnick said.

The second half started great for UWF as the Argos forced the UWA offense to go three and out. Then, on the first offensive play in the second half, UWF freshman running back Anthony Johnson ran for a 40-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.

UWF scored on its next drive when redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Beaudry completed a 25- yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman receiver Ka’Ron Ashley to give the Argos their first lead 21-14.

“I know if I get a good shot, Ka’Ron’s going for it. He’s a playmaker and he’s always in the right spot,” Beaudry said while talking about the chemistry he has with his receiver.

UWF added another touchdown and now lead 28-14 with a little over 6 minutes left in the game. UWA scored a touchdown with about 90 seconds left to give them one last chance with them trailing 28-21.

In what looked like a potentially game-changing play, UWA  recovered their onside kick and looked to tie the game and force it into overtime.

UWF kicker Austin Williams getting ready to kick off. (Photo by Morgan Givens)

However, the UWF defense stepped and on 4th and 2, junior linebacker Johnathan Coleman made the game-winning play when he broke up a pass to secure a victory for the Argos.

“I just wanted to go out there and leave no doubt and do it for my brothers,” Coleman, who led the defense with 16 tackles for the game, said.

UWF will now travel to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the semifinals, which will take place next Saturday at 11 a.m. with the winner of that game moving on to the finals of Division II football.

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