Mistakes Cost Football in Playoff Loss at Valdosta State


VALDOSTA, GA -- Valdosta State University capitalized on several mistakes by visiting Catawba as the eighth-ranked Blazers claimed a 55-29 win in the second round of the NCAA II Football Playoffs on Saturday afternoon at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.  VSU, now 10-1, advances to host North Alabama in next weekend’s Southeast Region final.  The Catawba Indians, ranked 12th, end their season at 11-2.

Valdosta State jumped on top in the opening minute as Sherard Reynolds retuned a fumble on the game’s second play 34-yards for a quick 7-0 lead just 55 seconds into the contest.  Catawba answered the score with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that was capped by a George Bell (Fayetteville, NC/Britt HS) two-yard run.  The point-after was blocked leaving the Blazers ahead 7-6.

The Indians would grab the lead on its next possession.  Brad Roach (Williamston, NC/Williamston HS) guided the Tribe 94 yards over 10 plays to put Catawba on top 13-7 following a 24-yard pass to Brandon Bunn (Virginia Beach, VA/Kellam HS). 

The teams would combine on three field goals in the second quarter.  Zak Williams hit two for the Blazers, including a 31-yarder on the final play of the first half to pull VSU within 16-13.  Cory Darnell (Rural Hall, NC/N. Forsyth HS) had a 38-yard field goal for Catawba.

Valdosta State opened the second half with a big kickoff return to the Catawba 45 and the Blazers took a 20-16 lead on a five-yard pass from Willie Copeland to Josh Rayam.  Catawba advanced deep into Blazer territory on its next possession, but Travis Harrison blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt and Kenneth Hale returned it to the Tribe 27.  Michael Terry scored from four-yards out three plays later for a 27-16 edge.

After moving the ball to the VSU 40, Roach was intercepted by Roger King at the 10-yard-line.  Valdosta State would march 92 yards and scored on a 27-yard pass from Copeland to Cedric Jones.  Catawba failed to handle the ensuing kick and VSU added another score as Terry carried three times to cover all 19 yards of the drive which ended on his one-yard run and a 41-16 lead with 11:58 remaining.

Catawba fell behind 48-16 before Roach led a pair of late Catawba scoring drives.  He threw touchdown passes of eight yards to Brent Johnson (Hickory, NC/Hickory HS) and 29 yards to Lee Page (Dillon, SC/Dillon HS).  The senior finished with 278 yards on 19-of-32 passing with three scores.  Bell ran for 74 yards on 16 carries and scored for the 20th time this season.  Antwan Strong (Charlotte, NC/W. Charlotte HS) was the top receiver with seven catches for 96 yards.

Terry led VSU with 139 yards rushing on 23 attempts.  Copeland was 16-of-29 through air for 171 yards and two scores.  Jones had five catches for 76 yards.  VSU totaled 456 yards of offense with 285 coming on the ground.  Catawba had 413 yards, but had four turnovers, a blocked field goal and two blocked extra points.

Box Score

Today's Events

Track/Field @ SAC Indoor Championships, Stats
Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 1 (Carolina CC),


«February 2018»
February 1

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 5-8

February 2

Baseball @ Palm Beach Atlantic 0-11

February 3

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 1 (Cougar Point GC)

Track/Field @ Maillet UNC Open

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 0-6

Baseball @ Lynn 11-12

Basketball (W) @ Anderson 69-75

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 4-3

Basketball (M) @ Anderson 77-65

February 4

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 2 (Cougar Point GC) 12th of 16

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 6-25

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  1 p.m.

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  3 p.m.

February 6

Baseball @ Belmont Abbey 5-6

February 7

Basketball (W) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 56-61

Basketball (M) vs.LENOIR-RHYNE 84-77

February 9

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 6-4

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 0-8

Baseball vs,. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 7-9

Lacrosse (M) @ Belmont Abbey 10-18

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 3-12

February 10

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 6-5

Lacrosse (W) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 6-24

Basketball (M) @ Bluefield St. 76-55

February 12

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 1 (Fleming Isl. GC)

February 13

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 2 (Fleming Isl. GC) 14th of 17

February 14

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 1)

Baseball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 5-7

Basketball (W) @ Coker 63-60

Basketball (M) @ Coker 79-77

February 15

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 2)

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-4

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-2

Lacrosse (W) vs. CONVERSE 16-6

February 16

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 3)

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-2

February 17

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 4) W-5th;M-7th

Softball vs SHIPPENSBURG 3-4

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-3

Softball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 8-4

Lacrosse (M) @ Mount Olive 3-15

Basketball (W) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 49-80

Basketball (M) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 89-104

February 18

Softball vs BARTON 11-3

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 4-6

Lacrosse (W) @ UVA-Wise 12-13

Softball vs BARTON 11-0

Tennis (W) @ Elon 0-7

February 19

Track/Field @ SAC Indoor Championships 

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 1 (Carolina CC) 

February 20

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 2 (Carolina CC)

Baseball @ Mount Olive 3 p.m.

Lacrosse (W) vs. MOUNT OLIVE 4 p.m.

February 21

Tennis (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY 2 p.m.

Basketball (W) @ Newberry 6 p.m.

Basketball (M) @ Newberry 8 p.m.

February 23

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 1)

Tennis (W) @ Mount Olive 2 p.m.

Tennis (M) @ Mount Olive 2 p.m.

Lacrosse (M) vs. CHOWAN 3 p.m.

Baseball vs. COKER 6 p.m.

Lacrosse (W) vs. ROLLINS 7 p.m.

February 24

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 2)

Baseball vs. COKER 1 p.m.

Softball vs USC AIKEN 1 p.m.

Basketball (W) @ Mars Hill 2 p.m.

Softball vs USC AIKEN 3 p.m.

Baseball vs. COKER 4 p.m.

Basketball (M) @ Mars Hill 4 p.m.

February 25

Softball vs YOUNG HARRIS 1 p.m.

Lacrosse (M) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 1 p.m.

Softball vs. YOUNG HARRIS 3 p.m.

February 28

Basketball (M) in SAC Tournament (1st Round)

Basketball (W) in SAC Tournament (1st Round)

Lacrosse (W) @ Belmont Abbey 3 p.m.

Baseball @ UNC Pembroke 3 p.m.

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Baseball Team Photo