CARROLLTON, Ga. – Another week and another win for the 24th-ranked University of West Georgia football team, as the Wolves dominated Miles in a 45-7 non-conference win on Saturday night at University Stadium.
After a slow start to the game, West Georgia came out and turned it on in the second half, outscoring Miles 24-0 in the final two quarters, allowing the Golden Bears just 69 yards of offense in the second half.
“I was really proud of the way our guys responded in the second half,” said head coach David Dean, “We did some things well in the first half, but I think we left some points out there on the field, so I’m just really proud of how we came out in the second half, especially defensively.”
UWG’s offensive attack went for 490 total yards on the night, with 248 of those on the ground. Through the air, the Wolves finished with 242 yards as sophomore signal caller Willie Candler was 13-of-20 for 211 yards and three scores. Candler’s favorite target in the contest was Emoni Williams who had six catches for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolves gave up just 196 yards of total offense, and allowed the first touchdown against Miles since the 33-7 win over the Golden Bears in 2015. Now through two games in 2017, the swarming UWG defense has allowed just 16 points and a combined total of 423 yards. Jay Johnson led the Wolves in the game with five tackles, including a pair of sacks.
The West Georgia defense got off the field after six plays on the first Miles drive of the game, forcing an early punt. Despite a 36-yard strike from UWG's Willie Candler to Emoni Williams on UWG's opening drive, the Wolves would also punt it away on their opening drive.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Wolves got on the board early as Travis Custis pounded it in from the one for his third touchdown of the season, giving the Wolves a 7-0 lead at the 13:27 mark of the second quarter.
UWG would get the ball right back after the defense forced a three-and-out deep in Miles’ territory. After the punt, the Wolves would set up shop on the 36-yard line, and would use just one play to find paydirt. Willie Candler hit John Hurst on the post route to put the Wolves up two scores with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half.
On the ensuing drive, Miles would respond with a 45-yard return on the kickoff that set up a 27-yard scamper and score by Golden Bear quarterback L’Jon Cordier that cut the lead in half with 7:18 left in the second quarter.
The Wolves stretched the lead back to 14 points right before halftime as Willie Candler used his legs to extend the play and find Emoni Williams who perfectly executed the toe tap for the 10-yard touchdown with just seconds left in the half.
Right out of the gate in the second half, the UWG offense went to work with a 12-play, 82-yard drive that was capped with a 32-yard strike from Candler to Emoni Williams again, who caught the ball in the middle of the field and beat the defender to the corner for the touchdown, putting the Wolves up 28-7.
Three plays later, the defense was off the field after a three and out and Miles lined up for the punt. Lightning then struck as JJ Jones took the punt 59 yards to the house for the score, extending the lead to 35-7 with 8:16 left in the third.
UWG then added a field goal as Trey Wiggins connected on a 32-yard attempt to make it 38-7 late in the third quarter.
Tyler Queen would add a final score for West Georgia in the fourth quarter as he went eight yards on the ground for the touchdown.
The UWG rushing attack was led by Travis Custis who ran for 56 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown while Queen added 47 yards on five attempts.
West Georgia is on the road for the first time in the 2017 season next week as the Wolves head to Cleveland, Tenn. to take on Delta State in the Gulf South Conference opener. Kickoff at Parker-McCool Stadium is set for 3 p.m. eastern time.