Valdosta Daily Times

Big Story Sports

September 11, 2010

Blazers blow out Newberry

NEWBERRY, S.C. — NEWBERRY, S.C. – David Dean believes the biggest improvement a football team makes is between games one and two.

The Valdosta State Blazers proved their coach right on Saturday at Newberry.

The Blazers ran roughshod over Newberry in their first road game of the season, crushing the Wolves 45-17 at Setzler Field.

After a week of hearing Newberry trash talk on Facebook, the Blazers were the ones who backed it up on the field. They lit up Kamaal McIllwain on the opening kickoff which led to a scrum and offsetting personal fouls.

The tone was set.

It was clear the Blazers were going to take it to the Wolves physically from the start, and they did. David Arnold shook off several tackles and raced 75 yards deep into Wolves territory early in the first quarter. Quarterback Brett Whitmire scored on the next play on a bootleg to make it 7-0.

VSU ended up rushing for 239 yards and two touchdowns against a Newberry team that held Livingstone to minus-39 yards rushing last week.

“Our guys played with a lot of emotion which was good to see,” Blazers head coach David Dean said. “I think they wanted to go out and prove we do have a good football team. We wanted to make a statement and I think we did. We wanted to make a statement not only to ourselves, but a lot of the people that maybe question are these guys really pretty good.”

In his first career start, Whitmire completed 16-of-29 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. He also had the rushing touchdown. Dean said after the game Whitmire will be the starter for the rest of the season and he deserves it.

“It felt good,” Whitmire said. “The first series I was pretty nervous. I’m a freshman and it was my first collegiate start. But after that first series I wasn’t nervous at all.”

Whitmire’s biggest mistake came in the third with the Blazers leading 24-10. He tried to throw a pass out of bounds but didn’t throw it far enough and All-American safety Ron Parker intercepted the pass with his toes on the line.

Newberry scored on the ensuing drive to cut it to 24-17.

The tide turned in favor of the Blazers on their next drive. They regained a two-touchdown lead early in the fourth after a crushing personal foul penalty by McIllwain. Newberry stopped VSU on third down deep in VSU territory, but McIllwain slammed Jordan McNair to the ground 20 yards away from the play for a penalty that gave VSU new life.

Whitmire completed a 26-yard screen pass to Arnold and capped off the drive when he connected with Jackson Dean for the second time in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 34-17. McIllwain was called for a late hit after the play.

With Newberry deflated, the Blazers ground attack took over. The Blazers defense forced a three-and-out and VSU capitalized when it ran six times for 72 yards and a touchdown on its next drive. David Bailey ran for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 38-17.

“We felt like we were going to have to run the ball to win the game,” Dean said.

While VSU’s offense was moving the ball in the second half, the defense wasn’t allowing the Wolves offense to do anything. Both of Newberry’s touchdowns came after Whitmire turned it over in VSU territory.

The Blazers intercepted Newberry quarterback Bryan Ehrlic five times. Harrison Dreiling intercepted two passes and Joel Cain, Stevie Harden and Chris Pope had the others.

Harden also forced a fumble the Blazers recovered to make it a total of six Newberry turnovers.

“I can’t remember the last time we had six turnovers in a ballgame,” Dean said. “I was proud of our defense. They played very well. If not for a couple of turnovers allowing them a short field I think our defense pretty much shut them out.”

Linebacker Larry Dean tied his career high with 17 tackles.

VSU totaled 490 yards of offense. Arnold carried the ball 10 times for 94 yards and Gerald Ford caught five passes for 105 yards. He had a beautiful one-handed touchdown catch that put VSU up 14-10 in the second quarter.

The Blazers are now 2-0 and will host Delta State (1-1) next Saturday at 1 p.m. After making a statement against Newberry, the Blazers will try to make another one by snapping a four-game losing streak to the Statesmen.

Text Only
Big Story Sports
  • Tefft_1_.jpeg Lone senior helps lead the 'Cats in playoffs
    Senior Daniel Tefft is a first baseman with a love for batting, but what makes him special is the fact that he is the lone senior on the Wildcats squad. 

    May 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • VSU vs Shorter VSU burns Shorter, goes 2-0

    The Blazers got a huge win over the Shorter Hawks, moving to 2-0 on the season.

    September 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • Blazers prepare for second scrimmage

    The National Champions prepare for their second intra-squad scrimmage

    August 22, 2013

  • Brooks County's Parrish in Rivals Top 100

    Brooks County rising senior Malkolm Parrish is ranked the 73rd best high school football prospect in the nation, according to the release of the Top 100.

    May 21, 2013

  • 101106 VSU POTW.jpg Stevie Harden: The Valdosta Daily Times Player of the Week

    The Valdosta State Blazers celebrated Senior Day against West Georgia on Saturday, and one Blazer senior made the most of his final regular season game at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
    Stevie Harden played on both sides of the ball against the Wolves, and found the end zone on both offense and defense. Harden caught a pass, scored a rushing touchdown and returned an interception for a touchdown, and helped lead the Blazers to a 31-13 win over their in-state rivals to retain the Peach Basket.

    November 8, 2010 1 Photo

  • 101105 VHS vs Colquitt 328.jpg Wildcats prevail

     The Valdosta High football team scored 29 of the game’s first 36 points, then held off a late rally to defeat Colquitt County 36-29 on Friday night at Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
    The win gave the Wildcats second place in Region 1-AAAAA, and guaranteed that their first-round playoff game next week would be played at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Valdosta will play the third seed from Region 3-AAAAA in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

    November 6, 2010 2 Photos

  • 100911 vsu newberry 001.jpg Blazers blow out Newberry

    NEWBERRY, S.C. – David Dean believes the biggest improvement a football team makes is between games one and two.
    The Valdosta State Blazers proved their coach right on Saturday at Newberry.

    September 11, 2010 4 Photos

  • 100828 Photopage Mee#1AF201.jpg Meet the Blazers

    VALDOSTA — A week before the Valdosta State Blazers meet Wingate in their first game of the regular season, they met kids and fans alike at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
    The VSU football team held its annual Meet the Blazers day on Saturday, and as always, it was a big hit.

    August 29, 2010 2 Photos

  • 100827 vhs vs brooks4.jpg Wildcats maul Trojans

    VALDOSTA — The Rance Gillespie era at Valdosta started with a bang Friday night.
    Valdosta scored touchdowns on its first three possessions, built a 25-0 halftime lead and defeated Brooks County 35-0 Friday at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
    “I thought we did some good things. I thought we made some plays,” Gillespie said after his first win as Valdosta’s head football coach. “I’m proud for these kids. They’ve worked hard.”
    Valdosta quarterback Ryan Whilden completed 12-of-20 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Malcolm Mitchell caught three of Whilden’s passes, for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

    August 28, 2010 7 Photos

  • 100821 vsu scrimmage 1.jpg Defense rules 2nd scrimmage

    VALDOSTA — Valdosta State’s offense carved up the defense in the team’s first scrimmage last week.
    On Saturday, it was the defense’s turn.

    August 21, 2010 4 Photos

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results