Blazers blast over West Alabama
By By Jimmy Boone/EMG sports writer
October 26, 2003
LIVINGSTON, Ala. You could call it a win by committee, with a passing vote.
Valdosta State had eight different players to score points as the Blazers took a 58-13 win over West Alabama in Gulf South Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The Blazers scored five touchdowns in the air and piled up 464 yards passing. Ironically the player most responsible for the Valdosta State's offensive surge did not score any points.
Blazers quarterback Barrett Wilkes, however, did complete 25 of 42 attempts for 456 yards and five touchdowns.
The win helped solidify Valdosta's top ranking in the AFCA Division II poll.
UWA lost three fumbles and had three passes intercepted in the game. The turnovers plagues the Tigers from the beginning of the game until the end.
UWA took the initial kickoff and drove down to the Blazer 21, but Presley Gilmore fumbled the ball and Valdosta State took over.
The Blazers used only three plays to strike quickly as Barrett Wilkes threw a 41-yard pass to Bama Adams for the first score.
West Alabama answered with a nine-play, 60-yard drive, but had to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Tonya Butler to cut the lead to 7-3.
On ensuing drives, the teams exchanged touchdowns. Valdosta State scored on a 23-yard pass from Wilkes to Andre Zellner. UWA came back and drove 69-yards in two plays as Derrick Spellers ran for 60 yards, setting up Presley Gilmore's 9-yard touchdown run.
With Valdosta leading 14-10, the game was shaping up to be a horse race.
UWA finally found some defensive success as the Tigers forced the Blazers to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Will Rhody.
The Valdosta State defense, however was also stiffening, and finally shut down the Tigers offense and forced a punt.
Wilkes found Raymond Thomas with a 41-yard pass to put Valdosta State up 24-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Valdosta State began to pressure West Alabama quarterback Brett Gilliland and only allowed the Tigers to earn three first downs in the second quarter.
Valdosta State added two touchdowns in the second quarter as Aaron Jenkins scored on a one-yard run and Zellner caught a 19-yard pass from Wilkes.
In the second half Valdosta State continued its air show. Wilkes found Nekeyma Wright with a 7-yard strike.
The Blazer defense showed that they were also capable of catching the ball as Derrick Hill intercepted a pass and ran it 15-yards for a score. Valdosta scored its final points as Latray Walker ran in from the one.
West Alabama did finally mount a late drive which ended with Butler kicking a 28-yard field goal.
Now, UWA must prepare to host Arkansas Tech next Saturday for homecoming.