Valdosta Daily Times

Big Story Sports

August 21, 2010

Vikings hold off Comets

Lowndes survives ugly fourth quarter

VALDOSTA — VALDOSTA — A celebration of another Lowndes Vikings’ blowout win over an Atlanta-area team was brought to a grinding halt on Friday night.

The South Gwinnett Comets stormed back from a 28-0 fourth-quarter deficit with 20 straight points, but a key fumble recovery by Chris Scurry and an ensuing 69-yard touchdown run by Troy Braswell helped lift the Vikings to a nail-biting 34-26 victory in their season opener.

“We played three quarters tonight,” Vikings head coach Randy McPherson said.

The Vikings scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and two more in the third to take a commanding 28-0 lead on the Comets. But a series of uncharacteristic miscues by Lowndes opened the door for a comeback.

After being held to just 69 yards in the first half, the Comets’ offense came to life on a drive late in the third quarter and into the fourth. Quarterback Kent Rollins led a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended when he ran up the middle untouched on a fourth-and-13 from 16 yards out to make it 28-6.

Lowndes went three-and-out on its next possession, then South Gwinnett blocked a punt and returned it to the Vikings’ 4. Aaron Wimberly scored on the next play to cut the deficit to 28-12 with 9:35 to play.

The Vikings finally appeared to have the game put away, forcing a punt midway through the fourth quarter. But the Comets faked the punt, and Wimberly pitched the ball to Trevon Walker, who took it 63 yards for a touchdown. Rollins completed the two-point conversion to make it 28-20 with 5:19 left to play.

South Gwinnett had put three touchdowns on the scoreboard in just over five minutes.

Needing a long drive to ice the game, the Lowndes offense couldn’t come up with one. Cole Parker and Tyler Hunter failed to connect on a third down pass in one-on-one coverage. Jed Solomon’s punt only traveled six yards, and the Comets took over at the Vikings’ 36 trailing by just eight.

That’s when Scurry and Braswell decided they’d had enough.

Rollins took a direct snap up the middle, was hit and fumbled the ball. Scurry pounced on it to give the Vikings possession, and Braswell took the next snap around the corner and down the sidelines for a 69-yard touchdown.

“I was cramping, but I saw they were coming back,” Braswell said. “I had to be a leader and show by my actions. It was nerve-racking. When they fumbled and we got the ball back, I knew I had to do something.”

Lowndes led 34-20 and the game was in hand, but South Gwinnett got one more shot in, scoring a touchdown as time expired, when Rollins hit Darius Jones-Craven on a deflected pass.

As the Vikings walked off the field, players were visibly upset, walking off the field looking at the ground and shaking their heads. Many looked physically exhausted.

“Well, we won the game,” McPherson said with a laugh. “We’re proud for the win. Boy, you can’t take anything from South Gwinnett. They’ve got a good team. Everyone knows they did. We didn’t finish the game. We just slowed down.”

For three quarters, it looked like the same Lowndes team that usually wreaks havoc on Gwinnett County schools. The Vikings came in having won nine of their last 11 against Gwinnett County schools, and it looked like another easy victory was on the way.

Parker hit Braswell for a touchdown on a 30-yard seam pass in the second quarter, and after a 44-yard catch-and-run by Tyler Hunter, James Mathis bullied his way into the end zone to put Lowndes up 13-0.

Sam Duncan broke several tackles and rumbled for a 24-yard touchdown in the third to make it 21-0, and Braswell broke off a 67-yard touchdown run later in the quarter.

The rout was on. Until it wasn’t.

“We have to go back, and we have to get better,” McPherson said. “But I’ll tell you what, we won the game.”

Braswell finished with 188 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 12 carries. He also caught two passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Duncan carried the ball nine times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Parker was 6 of 14 for 135 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings rushed for 293 yards, and totaled 428 yards.

Scurry registered 10 tackles and a sack to go along with his fumble recovery.

For the Comets, Rollins rebounded from a terrible start to complete 14 of 32 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.

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

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results