Blazers’ defense shines in first scrimmage

Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-19 11:45:00-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. - The Valdosta State defense controlled the Blazers' first scrimmage of the 2013 season, held at the VSU practice field Saturday morning.

The Black Swarm dominated the early portion of the scrimmage, which saw the offense assume control of the ball on its own 30 yard line. The defensive unit held the offense out of the end zone in all nine drives during the session, which saw the offense move the ball past the 50 yard line only four times. The offense's best chance at scoring came on its second drive, when behind the legs of true freshman Nick Davis, the ball was moved to the defense's 21 yard line. After the drive stalled, a Jake Walker 38-yard field goal sailed wide right.

The remainder of the drives saw the defense tally two sacks while applying constant pressure in the backfield as well as ending the seventh driven when Kenny Murphy tipped a Cayden Cochran pass, which was subsequently intercepted.

The offense had more success when the ball was moved inside the red zone for short yardage work as it scored on five of its six chances when the ball was placed on the defenses 12 yard line or closer. Austin Scott scored the first touchdown when he took a hand-off on the first play of the first drive and burst through the middle of the line untouched to score from 12 yards out. After a turnover on downs, Cedric O'Neal scored from six yards out while Cochran and Bo Schlecter added touchdown passes. Davis closed out the portion of the scrimmage with a three-yard run for a score.

Four two-minute drills followed with the defense once again stepping up to the challenge as it stopped three of the five attempts, including both by the first team offense. Both offensive scores came as the two third-team squads took the field to end the session.

The day concluded with four more red zone attempts from the defense's 20-yard line. After the defense ended the first attempt with its second interception of the day, the offense scored on two of the last three chances, the final coming on a 10-yard run by Davis.

Davis, fighting for a position on the team, starred on the day as he carried the ball 14 times for 108 yards, not including the short yardage red zone runs. Overall, he scored three touchdowns on the red zone drives.

VSU takes Sunday off, its first off day since camp began on August 5. They Blazers return to the field Monday evening at 8:00 p.m.