CARROLLTON, Ga. – In a game that featured over 1,000 yards of combined offense, the UWG Wolves football team was victorious on Saturday afternoon, taking down the Shorter Hawks 44-34 on Ra-Lin Field.
The Wolves accounted for 593 yards of offense, with Willie Candler throwing for 332 yards on his way to passing Chris Teal for the top spot in the UWG record book for career passing yards with 7,433. Candler ended the day going 27-for-35 for one touchdown.
Redshirt freshman running back Chauncey Williams also had a big day on the ground for the Wolves, carrying the ball 16 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
It was the Hawks that struck first with 10:36 left in the first quarter after the Wolves punted on their first drive of the game. Shorter’s Tyler Pullum kept the ball and punched it in himself, capping off a six play, 68-yard drive for the game’s opening touchdown.
The Wolves answered in timely fashion however, as Candler led a ten play, 77-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Williams, tying the game at 7-7.
After Shorter’s Nicholas Pope added to the Hawks tally with a field goal on the next drive, the Wolves took no time to answer back as Candler connected with senior John Hurst for an 81-yard touchdown throw, giving the Wolves a 14-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The UWG defense then made a big stop deep in their territory, forcing a field goal attempt stopping them on their goal line to start the second quarter, the Hawks Nicholas Pope kicked his second field goal of the day bringing the Hawks to within one with 13:00 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Wolves followed suit, as they capped off a seven play, 32-yard drive with a 4-yard field goal of their own off the foot of Omar Cervantes, increasing their lead to 17-13.
With time winding down in the first half, Candler led the Wolves on a 14 play, 76-yard drive down the field that was finished off with another touchdown run by Williams for his second score of the day. Williams touchdown gave the Wolves a 24-13 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half.
Wolves safety Mike Miller thwarted any hopes the Hawks had of scoring again before the end of the half when he picked off Hawks QB Pullum on their own goal line. Kicker Omar Cervantes ended the half with a 23-yard field goal for the Wolves, his second of the day. That brought the first half to a close with a score of 24-13, West Georgia.
The Hawks marched down the field on their first drive of the half, moving the ball down the field and eventually punching it in the endzone with a one-yard run.
The score didn’t stay close long however, as the Wolves responded with a four play, 81-yard drive which was topped off with another stellar run by Chauncey Williams, this time for 41 yards and his third score, pushing the lead to 34-20.
The Wolves weren’t done scoring in the quarter however, as after Mike Miller came up with a fumble recovery and his second takeaway of the day Eric Swinney punched the ball in with yet another touchdown run for the Wolves.
As the fourth quarter got underway Shorter responded with an eight play, 75-yard drive and a score of their own when Pullum scrambled out of the pocket and found one of his receivers streaking across the endzone.
West Georgia’s next points came on Cervantes’ third field goal of the day, this one from 32 yards out, and the Hawks added one more score to make the final, 44-34.
Defensively, Miller had the interception and fumble recovery while MJ Latimer led the way with nine tackles including seven solo stops.
The win improves the Wolves to 3-2 on the year, and evens up the conference record at 1-1. The Hawks fell to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in GSC play.
West Georgia returns to action next week, taking back to the road in Gulf South Conference play. The Wolves will be at North Greenville and the game will kick off at 7 p.m. from Tigerville, South Carolina.