Vaughn, UWF steamrolls Shorter in GSC opener
By Tony Mixon
The No. 13 Argonauts bounced back from last week’s loss to blowout the Shorter University Hawks 51-7 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
The Argos (2-1) didn’t show signs of a hangover from last week’s loss as they dominated the game on both sides of the ball tonight. The Argos marched up and down the field on offense totaling 568 yards. UWF coach Pete Shinnick said he liked the pace the offense was running throughout the game.
“I think in the first half we ran close to 50 plays and we felt like we could use that our advantage,” Shinnick said. “I think other than one drive we took a deep shot on first down and then we missed on a third down in the first half, we got done what we wanted to get done.”
The defense was as impressive as the offense, only letting the Hawks gain 125 yards of total offense. Linebacker Andre Duncombe credited the effort to the energy of the team.
“The juices were flowing tonight,” Duncombe said. “We had it the first half against Midwestern and then it died off at halftime, I think that’s a soft spot for the team.”
Quarterback Sam Vaughn got another start and looked to bounce back from a shaky game against Midwestern State. Vaughn said he’s getting more comfortable with the system.
“I think each week the more reps I get, the more comfortable I get,” Vaughn said. “Each week I continue to improve and continue to get more comfortable.
Vaughn was efficient the most efficient he has been so far, connecting on 25-of-34 passes for 369 yards while throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. He scored one rushing touchdown for a total of four touchdowns.
The Argos were dominate from the start of the game to the last whistle. They scored on their opening drive on a one-yard run by Vaughn capping off a 13 play 69-yard drive.
UWF ended the first quarter on a 27-yard throw to wideout Ezra Saffold with eight seconds left on the clock, putting them up 20-0.
The West Florida defense continued to suffocate Shorter in the second quarter only holding them to 6 yards on 13 plays.
The Argos went into halftime with a 37-0 lead which was the record for the most points scored in the first half. The record previously was last year against Shorter University at 35 points.
The Hawks scored 5:27 into the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout on a pass from Coey Watson to Joseph Ross. Ross fumbled at the 1-yard line and recovered it in the end zone to make the score 51-7.
Next week the Argos travel to Mississippi College next Saturday to start a three-week road game stretch that will undoubtedly be a test for the team. Other than the playoff run last year, this will be the longest regular season streak of away games for UWF.
Coach Shinnick said he is looking forward to the upcoming road schedule.
“The good thing I think for a lot of our players this will be the second time really taking this trip,” Shinnick said. “I’m expecting our guys to come back next week hungrier than they were this week.”