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No. 7 Blazers Turn Back Crusaders on Homecoming, 44-21 for 8-0 Start

No. 7 Blazers Turn Back Crusaders on Homecoming, 44-21 for 8-0 Start
No. 7 Blazers Turn Back Crusaders on Homecoming, 44-21 for 8-0 Start
Posted at 12:30 AM, Oct 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-21 00:30:00-04

THE BASICS:

Score: #7 Valdosta State 44, North Greenville 21

Records:  Valdosta State 8-0 (6-0 GSC), North Greenville 4-3 (2-2 GSC)

Location: Valdosta, Ga. (Bazemore-Hyder Stadium)

THE LEAD:  The No. 7 Valdosta State football team put up 23 points in the first half en route to a 44-21 victory over visiting North Greenville on Homecoming Saturday afternoon.  VSU improved to 8-0 for the first time since 2003.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • The Blazers took the opening possession and methodically marched down the field as the team used a nine play, 57-yard drive with sophomore quarterback Rogan Wells calling his number from 20 yards out for a 6-0 lead as the extra-point was blocked.
  • Following a NGU punt, VSU used an eight-play, 74-yard drive capped with Wells tossing an eight-yard touchdown to sophomore Travis Taylor for his first career touchdown reception and a 13-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first quarter.
  • Early in the second quarter, the VSU "D" came up with an interception in the end zone as senior Stephen Denmark picked Crusader quarterback Will Hunter as it looked like NGU was about to score.
  • Following the Blazers failing to convert on a 4th and five, the defense came up with its second interception of the game as sophomore Mondrell Jefferson picked Hunter at the 50 and returned it to the NGU 21.  VSU came up with a season-long 42-yard field goal from reigning GSC Special Teams Player of the Week Andrew Gray off the miscue for a 16-0 lead.
  • The VSU "D" stopped NGU on fourth down once again, this time in the VSU red zone as EJ Humphrey was stymied in the backfield by seniors Rori Blair and David Brown on a 4th and one from the VSU 16.
  • VSU senior quarterback Adam Robles hit sophomore Brian Saunds for 22 yards and then found a streaking senior Joe Fortson for a 61-yard touchdown and 23-0 lead with 33 seconds left in the half.
  • Midway through the third quarter, the Crusaders marched 70 yards on nine plays as Hunter found Bobby Foos for an 18-yard touchdown and a 23-7 VSU lead.
  • On a 4th and 3 from the NGU 32, Robles hit Saunds for a 32-yard touchdown and a 30-7 lead with 4:47 left in the third.
  • Early in the fourth, the VSU "D" came up huge once again as it stopped the Crusaders on a 4th and goal at the Blazer two with Dashonnell Wright being hit in the backfield by Jefferson and senior Guito Ervilus.
  • The Blazers were unable to do anything with the ball following the goal line stand as NGU started its next possession at the VSU 33 and Hunter hit Jordan Helms for a seven-yard touchdown and a 30-14 score.
  • Freshman quarterback Ivory Durham continued to showcase great speed this season as he scrambled for a 59-yard gain and later called his own number for a 37-14 score.
  • Hunter answered with his third touchdown strike of the game, this time to Demajiay Rooks for 67 yards, but Durham hit freshman David White for 60 yards and a 44-21 score in a frenzy of scoring in the fourth quarter.

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • For the second-straight week, the Blazers pitched a shutout in the first half as VSU tallied 226 yards with 63 rushing yards and 163 passing. 
  • NGU had one yard rushing on 16 carries, while Hunter was 11 for 19 with two interceptions and 136 yards as the Crusaders had 137 total yards.
  • For the game, VSU tallied 472 yards with 277 through the air and 195 on the ground.
  • NGU tallied 406 yards with 396 passing and 10 rushing.
  • Durham led the team in rushing with 72 yards and a score, while Robles was 6 of 10 for 131 yards and two scores.
  • Hunter 26 of 45 for 396 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. 
  • Saunds had four catches for 95 yards and a score, while Rooks caught eight passes for 156 yards and a score.
  • The VSU defense tallied four sacks for 27 yards and eight tackles for loss for 33 yards as VSU had a season-high three interceptions in the game.

 

UP NEXT:

  • The Blazers have a bye week and will return to action Nov. 3 at West Florida in a game which will be broadcast on ESPN3 as the GSC Game of the Week.
  • VSU closes the 2018 regular season home slate Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. versus West Georgia at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.