West Florida football looks to pull out all the stops for first home game against Virginia-Lynchburg
by Christian Skewes
Saturday September 21 the West Florida football team (1-1 GSC 1-0) will face off against the Virginia-Lynchburg Dragons (0-2) in non-conference play at Blue Wahoo’s stadium. This game will be sponsored by Baptist Health Care and the Andrews Institute and marks the first home game for the Argos in the 2019 season.
After two eventful road games to start the season off, the first home game in week three leaves the team’s seniors with mixed emotions.
“It’s bittersweet but I’m excited,” senior wide receiver Quentin Randolph said. “I can’t wait to be back downtown putting on a show.”
“I’ve been looking forward to the first home game for a while,” redshirt senior left guard Joe Wintrick said. “We love playing in downtown Pensacola and we love the fans we get every home game; it a top-notch atmosphere.”
Virginia-Lynchburg lost their first two games against Merrimack College and Davidson University but look to bring a challenge for the Argos.
“They’re a team that plays with a lot of effort,” Randolph said. “I expect them to come from Virginia with a lot of excitement and for them to give us their best game.”
Offensively speaking, West Florida put up their best game of the season thus far last week in their 42-14 rout of Shorter University. Amassing 556 yards of total offense, with 140 yards coming from the run game alone, this offensive unit is looking to do it again at home.
“Execution was the key to our success,” Randolph said. “We finally executed on the plays we knew we could and that ended up being big for us.”
Redshirt freshman quarter back Austin Reed got his first collegiate start in the game and accounted for all six touchdowns scored. This performance now ties him with the most touch downs scored in a game by a quarter back in UWF program history.
Surrounded by a star-studded receiver core led by Randolph (who had four receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown) and Rodney Coates (who had seven receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown), Reed has plenty of options that he can throw to out the backfield.
Anthony Johnson, Jr had 14 carries for 72 yards and accounted for five first downs in last week’s game. Averaging five yards per carry, Johnson Jr. will need to play another solid game if UWF looks to win this week.
“When we had all 11 of our offensive starters in at the same time, we had six drives and scored all six times,” Wintrick said. “We ran the ball good and passed the ball even better.”
On the other side of the ball the West Florida defense put up a dominant performance only allowing two touchdowns the whole game.
Chanler Ferguson was the ringleader for the defense amassing five tackles and an interception. Trent Archie, Kedrick Bradley, Ty Cox, Terry Limehouse, and Ian Bush all put up four solo tackles themselves to add to their totals.
“They just keep their heads down and grind,” Randolph said. “We got a great defensive leader in Andre Duncombe; he keeps the morale and energy up for the whole defense.”
In the first two weeks of the season the defense on average has allowed 17 points a game, a statistic that the starting 11 talks about with pride.
If the defense can manage to keep this trend going into week three and Reed and the offense can dominate the whole game, West Florida can put up its most impressive game yet.