By: Nick McGahee
West Georgia came into Saturday’s game undefeated, 3-0 with a high-powered offense averaging 40.2 points per game and a stout defense only giving up 10.1 points per game, ranked second in PPG for both categories in the GSC. The Florida Tech Panthers were also 3-0, led by a good defense averaging 10.6 PPG allowed on defense.
With a temperature of 87 degrees at kick off, the heat was sweltering as both teams took the field. West Georgia won the toss and elected to defer to the second half.
After a great punt penned the Panthers back at the 17-yard line, they marched down the field in 5 minutes and got on the board first with a 31-yard pass from Trent Chmelik to Romell Guerrier.
The Wolves answered right back with a 93-yard scoring drive of their own as Willie Candler went 3-3 for 77 yards and found Malik Henry for 33 yard and a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7.
After a quick punt West Georgia had the ball at the start of the second quarter. Willie Candler would keep the ball on a called Run, Pass, Option play getting hit in the backfield and ended up fumbling on the Panthers 33-yard line. During the scrum for the ball, West Georgia running back DeVontae Jackson dove in to fight for the ball but ended up making head to head contact with De’Vontae Weekley and was ejected from the game for targeting.
Florida Tech would use this to flip the field control in their favor. After both teams punted in their following drives, Florida Tech would take the lead 14-7 after Chmelik would find Guerrier again for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
The Wolves would go to the half losing 14-7, down again in back to back games.
The Wolves came out for the second half hoping for a good offensive drive to start the half, but instead LaPerion Perry would return it 93 yards for a West Georgia touchdown. Tying the game again at 14-14.
Florida Tech would answer again and take their next drive 75 yards in 10 plays as Chmelik would find Terrance Bynum for a 15-yard touchdown pass putting the Panthers up 21-14
West Georgia would be forced to punt on their next drive, punter Christian Ramirez would pin Florida Tech at the 3-yard line with a great punt. The defense would force a goal line punt for the Panthers and with a great return from Malik Henry would set up a Wolves field goal by Omar Cerventas from 21 yard out making the score 21-17.
West Georgia would get the ball back at the end of the third quarter and drive 59 yards and score as Wille Candler would find Melik Henry across the middle for a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Wolves would take their first lead of the game, up 24-21.
With 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter the Wolves would score again. Willie Candler would hit Emoni Williams on a swing out route for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Cerventas would miss the PAT and the Wolves would have a 30-21 lead.
Florida Tech would take the ensuing drive 63 yards but Ashton Jackson would pick off Chmelik in the back of the end-zone for a touchback and seal the win for the Wolves.
Willie Candler would finish the game 19-34 and 254 yards passing with 3 touchdowns.
Malik Henry would finish with 125 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Wolves move to 4-0 and 1-0 in the GSC with a game at Shorter University next Saturday, September 29 at 1PM.
Nicholas McGahee is the Sports Promotions Director. See more of his content on our social media @thewolfsports.