UWF football claims Gulf South Conference Championship title


The West Florida Argonauts football team (9-1, 6-1 Gulf South Conference) claimed the title of Gulf South Conference champions thanks to their 61-42 win against Valdosta State Blazers (9-1, 6-1 GSC) November 13.

This was the first time since the UWF football team was established that they were able to take down the Blazers in the regular season.  

The Argos were breaking records throughout the night as the offense marched their way to the end zone time and time again. 

The military appreciation game brought a record-breaking crowd of 7,193. The Argos brought 347 rushing yards out of the total 658 offensive yards, breaking the record for most rushing yards in a single game.

The record-breaking didn’t stop there. The Argos also set the team record by scoring six rushing touchdowns. 

“What a great night for Pensacola, what a great night for Blue Wahoos Stadium and UWF athletics and UWF football,” said coach Pete Shinnick. 

The large crowd brought what Shinnick called, tremendous energy. “We needed every bit of it,” Shinnick said.  

The Argos were forced to punt the ball away only once during the game. 

Running back Anthony Johnson Jr. scored the last touchdown of the game with a 66-yard run. “That’s gotta be the fastest that I’ve ran in years,” Johnson said.

Johnson completed the night with 96 yards and scored three touchdowns to help secure the win for the Argos. 

Quarterback Austin Reed did his fair share of running throughout the night. 

“These kinds of games you don’t get to slide anymore,” Reed said. He had a 44 yard rush for a touchdown during the third quarter. Reed racked up a total of 311 yards and two touchdowns.  

Reed saw the opportunity to play in a top-three match-up game as a blessing. 

 “We scored our second-highest on the season,” Reed said, “we did it against the no. 2 team in the country who’ve been stopping everyone.” 

The Valdosta State Blazers didn’t give up the game without a fight. 

Blazers quarterback Ivory Durham got the ball moving for a total of 415 yards and three touchdowns but threw an interception caught by UWF’s Shannon Showers before the night ended. 

Runningback Seth McGill of Blazers held his own during the game, totaling 104 yards and one touchdown. 

During the second quarter, both teams yo-yoed the ball for touchdowns but Valdosta State was never able to get ahead of the Argos.

While the Blazers’ offense was able to put 599 yards on the board, the UWF defense was able to hold them off throughout the night. 

With this win, the Argos are seeded third in Super Region Two. 

For the first time in Argo history, the team will host a playoff game. In the first round of the Division II playoffs, No. 3-seeded UWF will face Newberry College. 

The game will take place in Pensacola’s Blue Wahoos Stadium at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20.