CARROLLTON, Ga. - Head coach David Dean and his Wolves got back on the right track last week with a win over Shorter at home, and now the Wolves look to continue the hunt for the 2019 NCAA Playoffs with a trip to Tigerville, SC and a battle with the North Greenville Crusaders on Saturday evening at Younts Stadium.
The West Georgia Wolves return to the road Saturday in search of their fourth win of the season. The Wolves visit Tigerville, S.C., for a key Gulf South Conference battle vs. the Crusaders of North Greenville. West Georgia is 3-2 on the season, 1-1 in GSC play. North Greenville brings a record of 2-3 into the game and is 1-2 in league play.
Both teams come into play Saturday after a winning effort a week ago. West Georgia won a 44-34 shootout over Shorter in Carrollton. North Greenville captured an impressive road upset over then #25 West Alabama, 29-28.
Veteran David Dean is in his third season at the helm of the West Georgia program. A two-time national title winner as a head coach, Dean has guided the Wolves to a record of 22-8 since returning to the UWG sideline in 2017. His career head coaching record is 101-35. Jeff Farrington is in his sixth season as coach of the Crusaders. His record at North Greenville is 34-28.
Both head coaches have a West Georgia connection that began in 1992. Farrington came to Carrollton in February of that year to serve as defensive coordinator under then-head coach Ron Jurney. Dean came to the West Georgia staff in July of 1992, following four seasons at rival Valdosta State.
Saturday’s game is only the second ever in football between West Georgia and North Greenville. Last year the Wolves prevailed in a 31-7 decision on Ra-Lin Field. Willie Candler completed 20-of-30, threw for one score, and ran for another to lead UWG’s attack. Defensively, Chad Price had a pair of quarterback sacks on the afternoon.
Candler was the big story of last week’s win over Shorter. He moved past UWG Hall of Fame member Chris Teal to become West Georgia’s all-time career passing yardage leader, and he currently stands at 7,433. He also surpassed Teal for all-time pass completions at West Georgia with 591. Candler is in line to later this year own UWG’s career record for passing attempts. He has 914, compared to Teal’s school record of 1,039.
Saturday’s game vs. North Greenville is officially West Georgia’s 30th all-time appearance as part of the GSC Game of the Week TV package, from 2005 to the present. UWG has a record of 13-16 in 29 previous appearances. Also, West Georgia appeared three times in an earlier Gulf South Conference TV package that ran during the 2000 season. During that season UWG was 2-1, winning road games over Ouachita Baptist and North Alabama, and then dropping a home contest to Valdosta State. Veterans Don Russell and Rick Rhoades will call the action on the GSC telecast, available on ESPN+.
For a West Georgia perspective on Saturday’s game, UWG fans can tune into WCKS, 102.7 FM. Mitch Gray, now in his 38th season of calling UWG football, handles the play-by-play, while Andy Micacchione fills the role of analyst. The Countdown to Kickoff pregame show begins at 6 p.m.
While the two head coaches in Saturday’s game have a connection, player connections between West Georgia and North Greenville are scarce. One exception to that is a back named Eric Gomillion. A native of Goose Creek, S.C., Gomillion transferred to West Georgia from North Greenville. prior to the 1991 season. Gomillion is still in the UWG records book for his 123-yard rushing performance in the ’91 season opener vs. Alma.