FLORENCE, Ala. — Valdosta State's football team beat Winston-Salem State 35-7 in the Division II national championship game on Saturday in Florence, Ala. It was the third national championship for the Blazers.
Valdosta State's Matt Pierce returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, and teammate Cedric O'Neal scored on a 24-yard run. Cayden Cochran scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 5:40 left in the second quarter.
Winston-Salem State got a 29-yard touchdown pass from Kameron Smith to Jameze Massey with 9:25 left in the third quarter to cut the Blazers' lead to 21-7. On their next possession, the Rams drove to the VSU 1, but VSU's Jeremy Grable stripped the ball from a WSSU player and the Blazers recovered in the end zone.
Valdosta State scored again early in the fourth quarter, on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cochran to Quin Roberson. Cochran's second touchdown run, with 3:32 left in the game, made it 35-7.