Quentin Randolph leaped into the air and snagged the ball with authority. He landed inside the 10-yard line with a 29-yard clutch catch in the third quarter that gave the University of West Florida new life in a tightly contested season-opener against No. 22 Carson-Newman Thursday night.
Randolph’s catch, one of a career-high four, set the stage for the Argos to punch the ball into the end zone.
Lee Walker capped the drive, catching a 4-yard scoring strike from backup quarterback Sam Vaughn, and UWF never looked back in a 19-9 win on this fall-like evening in front of a crowd of 5,673 at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
UWF trailed 9-6 at halftime but dodged the upset bullet in a second half where the offense made crucial plays and the defense refused to bend or break.
“I felt really good the score was what it was because I did not think we played very well in the first half,” Argos head coach Pete Shinnick said. “I did not think we played up to our capability, but I felt like I had a team that was just going to keep fighting and continue to push through it.”
The 2017 NCAA Division II national runner-up did fight through the adversity, including losing starting quarterback Mike Beaudry to an injury early on, and cashed in on four field goals from Austin Williams to seal the deal on their third opener in program history.
The win was extra special for Randolph, a former Navarre standout who had the breakout game he had been waiting for. The junior finished with a team-best 65 yards.
“I’ve been waiting on this for a long time, putting in all the offseason work with my teammates. They believe in me, my quarterbacks believe in me, my coaches believe in me. I know it’s not anything special, anything new. Just the fact that I got the opportunity to make those type of plays means a lot.”
Read more about the Argos in the Sept. 6 issue of the Navarre Press.