#4 West Florida vs #2 Texas A&M Commerce
When: Saturday, December 16 | 6 PM ET
Where: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Team Comparison: UWF vs TAMUC
Playoffs So Far
West Florida (11-3), who makes the final in only their second year as a program, was the six seed in Super Region Two. They started off their playoff run by shutting out #3 Wingate 31-0, followed by one-possession wins over #7 West Georgia (17-14) in the second round and #1 West Alabama (28-21) in the quarterfinals.
After reseeding, the #4 Argos traveled to #1 Indiana (PA) last week and took down the Crimson Hawks by a score of 27-21.
Like UWF, the Lions of Texas A&M Commerce have also made their way to the finals almost entirely on the road. After easily dispatching #4 Winona State in round one, the #5 Lions traveled to Ellensburg and won a 34-31 overtime thriller against #1 Central Washington, highlighted by a last second TD pass from Luis Perez to Buck Wilson that sent the game to OT.
The Commerce road slog then took them to a quarterfinal showdown in Mankato, Minnesota, where they took down the #2 seeded Mavericks of Minnesota State 31-21. Finally, in last weekend's semifinal, TAMUC controlled the triple option of #3 Harding, beating the Bisons 31-17 to earn a trip to the ship.
STARTING QUARTERBACKS: Mike Beaudry vs Luis Perez (stat comparison)
LEADING RUSHERS: Chris Schwarz vs Carandal Hale (stat comparison)
LEADING RECEIVERS: Antoine Griffin vs Buck Wilson (stat comparison)
SACK LEADERS: John Williamson vs Norman Moimoi (stat comparison)
INTERCEPTION LEADERS: Marvin Conley vs Alex Shillow (stat comparison)
TACKLES LEADER: Reggie Barnes vs Brucks Saathoff (stat comparison)
West Florida football is in only its second year of existence, so these two teams have never met. A&M Commerce did play North Alabama, a Gulf South team that the Argos beat 30-7 on November 4, in September of this year and won by a score of 8-7.
West Florida is led by second year coach Pete Shinnick. This is Shinnick's third football head coaching stop. Just as he did at UWF, Shinnick built the program at UNC Pembroke, his previous stop, from scratch, leading the Braves to a 50-24 record in seven seasons. Before that, he guided Azusa Pacific to a 53-22 record and two semifinal appearances in seven seasons.
2017 is the A&M Commerce's fifth year under head coach Colby Carthel. Before taking the head job with the Lions, Carthel was the defensive coordinator at West Texas A&M for seven seasons. 2017 also marked the 12th straight year he's made the D2 postseason, both as an assistant and head coach. All told, the Lions are 48-15 during Carthel's time in Commerce.