ROME, Ga. — Behind a season-high 671 yards of total offense and a school-record 446 yards rushing, the top-ranked Valdosta State football team won 44-7 at Shorter University for its NCAA Division II leading-19th-straight victory Saturday evening.
The Blazers (4-0, 2-0 GSC) tallied 671 yards on 78 plays, while holding Shorter (0-4, 0-2 GSC) to just 106 yards, including 24 rushing yards and 73 through the air. VSU garnered 32 first downs to just six for the Hawks, while passing 21 of 29 for 225 yards and averaging 9.1 yards per carry for the 446 yards on the ground. Not only did the 446 yards on the ground break the school record, but also was a career-high for VSU first-year head coach Gary Goff. The Blazer defense also stood strong as it recorded four sacks for 24 yards and seven tackles for loss for 30 yards.
VSU scored two touchdowns in the first quarter with one by junior quarterback Rogan Wells and the other by sophomore running back Seth McGill. Following a punt by the Hawks early in the second quarter, the Blazers methodically moved down field and Wells hit sophomore David White for a 13-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Shorter had its best drive of the game, moving down field and collecting its first, first down of the game in the process. SU's Andrew Warren hit John Dietl III for a four-yard touchdown pass with 5:36 left in the half and a 21-7 score. Immediately following the SU score, sophomore Jamar Thompkins scampered 65 yards for a touchdown and a 28-7 score on the first play from scrimmage for the Blazers and the 21-point advantage at halftime.
Following punts by both teams to open the second half, the Blazers moved down the field with ease, once again, and McGill scored his second touchdown of the game for a 35-7 score midway through the third.
Redshirt freshman kicker Tyson Shaw punted on the Blazers' next possession, pinning the Hawks at the one. From there, a penalty in the end zone on the Hawks gave the Blazers a safety for a 37-7 score and then VSU scored on a 13-yard strike from Durham to junior Brian Saunds and a 44-7 score with 18 seconds left in the third quarter. The teams played a scoreless fourth quarter.
Wells finished the game 15 of 19 for 154 yards and a score, while rushing seven times for 46 yards and a touchdown. Durham had a career-day with his feet as he had ten rushes for 114 yards, while going 6 of 10 passing for 71 yards and a touchdown. Saunds caught six balls for 96 yards and touchdown. Thompkins finished with 150 yards on the ground on 12 carries and a touchdown, while McGill had a team-high 13 carries for 79 yards and two scores. Defensively, VSU was led by sophomore Jackson Bull with four tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack. Senior Nick Moss had two tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss for 10 yards and 1.5 sacks for 10 yards.
The Blazers will go for win number 20 in a row Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium versus Mississippi College.