Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

November 21, 2012

Blazers looking for redemption against UWA

VALDOSTA — Just minutes after the Valdosta State football team fell to 2-2 on the young season following a loss to conference rival West Alabama, Blazer head coach David Dean said his players were angry and that they wanted another shot at the Tigers.

Their wish has been granted.

The Blazers will host their conference rival Saturday at noon in the second round of the Division II football playoffs. And for the Blazers, sweet redemption and revenge is clearly on their minds this week as they prepare for the showdown with the Tigers.

“We really have revenge on our shoulders and we think if they come here again, we are going to beat them,” linebacker Jeremy Grable said Tuesday. “I really want to beat them. They will be a great team to beat.”

Added Dean: “Anytime you have the opportunity to avenge a loss, it makes it that more interesting. Secretly, I think we were kind of pulling for West Alabama (last week). We do have that opportunity to play those guys again. When you play those guys and they get the best of you early in the season and you have a chance to avenge that loss, a lot has to be said for that.”

 The Blazers lost the Sept. 22 meeting by 11 points — 39-28 — in a game where the Tigers racked up 332 yards rushing on 56 carries for three touchdowns. West Alabama senior running back Matt Willis led the way with 181 yards, although it was backup quarterback Gary Johnston who finished with 124 yards and a touchdown.

“Gary Johnston is the guy that killed us the first time around,” Dean said. “We couldn’t contain him. He did a very good job at breaking tackles in the ball game.”

 The defense’s inability to slow down the Tigers is a major talking point this week for the Blazers.

“Completely, no disrespect to them, but I have a grudge on my shoulder,” said Grable, who was injured in the first half of the previous meeting this season. … It has been big.”

 After losing to West Alabama in the regular season meeting, the Blazers are focused on what went wrong the first time around and how things can be different this time. One thing, says defensive end Tyler Josey, is the Blazers simply need to play better.

 “We just have to come out and play better this time,” said Josey, who dyed his 5-month old beard black with the rest of his teammates. “I think our game plan last time was fine. We just have to come in and play better on defense.”

 One Blazer looking for a bounce back performance against the Tigers is quarterback Cayden Cochran. In the early season meeting, quarterback Cayden Cochran completed 7 of 19 passes for 173 yards with two touchdowns before being pulled in the second half with a shoulder injury.

The year before, in the Blazers’ 22-21 win over the Tigers, Cochran completed 22 of 33 passes for 144 yards with an interception.

 Neither performance sits well with Cochran.

 “I watched the film again (on Monday) — I’ve watched the film three of four times — and the mistakes we made, we beat ourselves,” Cochran said. “Penalties, missed throws, stuff like that really hurt us. And that is what hurts the most is that we got beat and there are more things we could have done to eradicate that and move forward.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More