2022 West Alabama vs Delta State

Gulf South Games Of The Week: Three Teams Still Have Plenty To Play For

Gulf South Games Of The Week: Three Teams Still Have Plenty To Play For

In a wild final week of conference games in the Gulf South, the league leaders were less than 10 minutes from an outright conference title.

Nov 9, 2022 by Ron Balaskovitz
Gulf South Games Of The Week: Three Teams Still Have Plenty To Play For

It was a wild final week of conference games last week in the Gulf South - one that saw the league leaders sit less than 10 minutes from an outright conference title, before a furious rally that may have kept another team's playoff hopes alive.

Then, the team chasing the leaders put their share of the conference title hopes on the line in overtime against what many thought would be the conference favorites coming into the year.

Last week's games also finally saw an end to a conference losing streak that dated back to when Obama was in office, with Shorter topping North Greenville.

This week, the GSC teams will square off against conference foes in non-league games to wrap up the regular season, with three teams that have plenty to play for, as the postseason looms the following week.

West Georgia at North Greenville

With less than 10 minutes to go last week, West Georgia's season looked done. The Wolves trailed league-leading Delta State by 18.

But the Wolves found a way over the next eight minutes, getting three Harrison Frost touchdown passes (from 24, 43, and 29 yards,), including the game-winner with five seconds left to not only spoil Delta State's bid for the outright GSC title, but keeping their own playoff hopes alive.

Those three touchdown passes were part of a huge day for Frost, who passed 66 times for 502 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, while the UWG defense kept the Statesmen's powerful rushing attack mostly in check, giving up 147 yards on 42 carries.

The Wolves still have work to do though. 

While a win over a top-10 team is a big feather in their cap, they'll need a win over North Greenville, along with some help, if they're to make the Division II bracket. Currently, the Wolves are 10th in Super Region Two, with the top seven teams earning berths.

For North Greenville, they'll try and rebound from a loss to Shorter, giving the Hawks their first GSC win since the 2015 season, while also trying to douse the Wolves' slim playoff hopes.

The loss to Shorter was no fluke, though, as the host Hawks jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, then stretched the lead to as much as 24 in the second half. 

The Crusaders were held to just 356 yards in the loss and turned the ball over three times.

Despite the loss to Shorter by North Greenville, Saturday's tilt won't be an easy task for the Wolves, who must go on the road to North Greenville for the second time this season, with the first game being a thriller that saw UWG pull out a 38-35 win, rallying from down 11 in the second half to earn that win. 

If there's a big thing going in West Georgia's favor, it's that the Wolves are a perfect 4-0 on the road this season

West Alabama at Delta State

While last week's rally was the highest of highs for West Georgia, Delta State was left stunned after falling to the Wolves.

The Statesmen were less than 10 minutes away from their first outright GSC title in over a decade, but the loss, coupled with West Florida's dramatic win over Valdosta State, means DSU was forced to share the GSC title, their first shared crown since 2014.

If there's any consolation for DSU, it's that with their win over West Florida earlier in the season, the Statesmen claim the league's automatic berth into the Division II playoffs. 

But there is still plenty to play for, as a loss could drop the Statesmen in the Super Regional rankings, where they now are second after the loss.

Three turnovers, one of the few times this season the Statesmen lost the turnover battle, loomed large in that loss to UWG, despite a six-touchdown day from quarterback Patrick Shegog, who continued to make his case for GSC Player of the Year.

West Alabama's season will come to a close Saturday, regardless of the outcome, but the Tigers are looking to finish in the top half of the league. They have some momentum from rolling past Mississippi College last week, 38-16. 

In that win, the Tigers rushed for 303 yards and five touchdowns, while holding the Choctaws to less than 300 yards of total offense.

The two teams played a defensive slugfest earlier this season at DSU, with the Statesmen pulling out a 20-7 win.

West Florida at Mississippi College

After seeing Delta State squander a late lead, it allowed the Argos their chance to claim a share of the GSC crown, if they could be rival Valdosta State. That's just what they did, but it wasn't easy, pulling out a 32-31 overtime win, converting a two-point try in the extra session for the walk-off win.

That win pushed UWF to 8-1 on the year and up to third in the Super Regional rankings, which could mean a home playoff date in the opening round.

While the Argos likely are locked into a playoff spot, a loss could send them on the road, so they'll need to avoid the trap game on the road against a Choctaws team that is among the top 10 in the country in rushing yards per game.

Mississippi College looks to close out the year with a win that could vault them into the top half of the league standings after falling to West Alabama last week.

The Argos rolled three weeks ago at home against the Choctaws, picking up at 45-17 win, where they held MC to just over 200 yards rushing and forced a pair of turnovers.