Valdosta Daily Times

September 22, 2012

Wildcats beat Newton, 31-7

Christian Malone
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta football team improved to 3-1 with a 31-7 victory over Newton on Friday at Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

The Wildcats were effective on both sides of the ball Friday. Their offense ran for 212 yards and passed for another 82. Defensively, they gave up an 82-yard touchdown run to Newton’s James Hardeman, but limited the Rams to just 73 yards of total offense and no points the rest of the game.

“I thought we did some things really well,” Valdosta head coach Rance Gillespie said. “It was really kind of along the lines of what we expected, as far as the football game went. We let the ball get out on us on that one touchdown, and that was disappointing, and we still had a couple of drops. But other than that, I thought we played a lot better. I really do. ... I can sit here and name the individual plays that we were disappointed with. That means, for the most part, we did some good things, we really did, and we were able to move the ball. And we were able to stop them.”

Valdosta running back Malcolm Joseph had his biggest game of the season on Friday, rushing for 136 yards on 24 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Joseph took on an increased role Friday because fellow running back Nelson Herring had a minor injury and was limited to just six carries.

The Wildcats put the ball in the end zone on their first possession, driving 44 yards in six plays. On first-and-goal from the Rams’ 7-yard line, Joseph took the handoff, the right side of the Wildcats’ line opened up a hole and Joseph ran through it. A defender met Joseph at the 3, but the junior running back muscled his way out of the defender’s grasp and ran into the end zone for the