CARROLLTON, Ga. - The first foray into Gulf South Conference play for the West Georgia football program ended on a sour note on Saturday evening in Melbourne, Fla., as the Wolves lost by a 44-10 margin to the Florida Tech Panthers at Panther Stadium.
Florida Tech came out on fire in their first home game, scoring on a 66-yard touchdown run on a reverse on the second play of the game. West Georgia struggled on the opening drive and FIT came right back on a 12-play drive that took up nearly seven minutes and ended with a Mike Diliello touchdown run to take a 13-0 lead.
Willie Candler and the UWG offense responded well on the next drive, hitting a 30-yard pass play to Quan Harrison on the first play of the drive. The Wolves responded with the long march from FIT with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass from Candler to Thomas Lester. The Omar Cervantes extra-point made it 13-7 with 1:39 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers came right back, averaging 11 yards per play on a seven-play, 77-yard drive, finishing off with a two-yard run to make it 20-7 with 13:38 left in the second quarter. The UWG running game took over on the next drive, as the Wolves went 12 plays for 70 yards, but the drive stalled at the FIT2 and head coach David Dean had to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Cervantes, making it 20-10 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.
Florida Tech scored once more in the first half and the Wolves kept the Panthers out of the end zone with a pair of turnovers in the final minute of play, but the two teams went into the locker room at the break with FIT leading 27-10.
In the second half, Florida Tech outscored the Wolves 17-0 in the third quarter, and that was where the final stuck, as the Wolves fell to 2-2 on the year and 0-1 in Gulf South Conference play. The Panthers moved to 3-1 on the year and 1-1 against league competition. Chauncey Williams rushed seven times for 75 yards to lead the UWG offense on the night.