Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

November 10, 2012

Valwood cruises past Central Fellowship, 41-0

VALDOSTA — No Khary Paige, no problem for the Valwood Valiants.

Playing without their leading offensive weapon — Paige leads the team in rushing yards and touchdowns along with tackles this season — the top-ranked Valiants had no problem beating up on the Central Fellowship Lancers in the first round of the GISA Class AA state playoffs Friday night at Goddard Field.

Led by an impressive passing performance by senior Tyler Williams, a pair of long touchdown runs by Zane Edmondson and Marik Merine and elite defensive play, the Valiants cruised to a 41-0 win.  Despite the win, Valwood head coach Ashley Henderson was quick to point out his team’s flaws on the night.

“We were sloppy in a lot of the things we did tonight,” Henderson said. “I thought we came out kind of sloppy; everyone was looking around waiting for someone to make a play. We fumbled a snap, we got some penalties. We sputtered out of the gates, but Tyler (Williams) put up a couple balls on the money; Rashad (Mathis) made a couple of plays for us and the offensive line had a great game. I thought they protected their butts off.

“It was what we thought it was,” Henderson continued. “We made some plays there and we emptied the bench and got everyone in. It is always a good night when you get everyone in.”

Despite the sloppy start Henderson referred to, which featured the Valiants turning the ball over on downs on their first possession of the game, Valwood still managed to score all 41 of its points in the first half, leading to a running clock throughout the entire second half.

Williams finished 5 of 6 passing for 148 yards with three touchdowns, two of which fell into the hands of receiver Rashad Mathis (3 receptions for 98 yards on the night). Williams also tossed 23-yard touchdown pass to Char Merine in the second quarter, coming one possession after he ran in a score of his own.

“Tyler made the right reads, took a couple of shots down the field and made the right reads on it,” Henderson said. “Guys just went up and made plays on it. He hit Rashad in stride twice and Char once and those guys know what to do with it when they’re in the open field. They are hard to bring down.”

On the ground, Edmondson and Marik Merine made up for the absence of Paige, combining for 140 yards with two touchdowns on just eight combined carries.

“Khary could have played tonight but he is kind of nursing an injury, so we wanted to hold him back a little bit,” Henderson said. “But it’s like I’ve been saying, we have a three-headed monster there at running back. Zane and Mark can both do it, too. They just haven’t gotten as many touches as Khary, but their time is coming and when their number was called tonight, they took advantage of the opportunity.”

While the Valwood offense cruised its way to 343 yards (294 in the first half with the starters), the defense was just as impressive. With the starters on the field, the Valiants held the Lancers to just one yard of total offense in the first half. Central Fellowship finished the game with 93 yards, using a pair of long drives against the backups to rack up the yards in the second half.

“(The defense) has been tough all year, especially against the run,” said Henderson of his defense, which recovered a fumble and forced an interception on the night. “They were stout up the middle and hustled to the ball. They made them earn every inch they got tonight.”

Valwood opened the scoring on its second offensive possession when Williams tossed the first of his three touchdown passes, finding Mathis on a 38-yard TD connection down the left sideline. Mathis then connected with offensive lineman Griffin Clyatt on the two-point conversion from the swinging gate formation, giving the Valiants an 8-0 lead.

 Following a three-and-out by Central Fellowship, Valwood needed just two plays to get back into the end zone. This time, Mark Merine broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run, cutting up the middle and cutting back across the field, dodging defenders in the process. Valwood’s extra point was blocked, keeping the score 14-0.

Later in the quarter, Williams got the job done with his feet, crashing into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run, giving Valwood a 20-0 lead. Once again, Valwood’s extra point was blocked.

After a fourth straight three-and-out for Central Fellowship, Williams connected with Char Merine, who has been selected to play in the rising Senior Bowl Dec. 31 in Atlanta, for a 33-yard TD pass. After Carter Elliott’s extra point, the Valiants led 27-0.

On Valwood’s following possession, Williams hit Mathis in stride for a 47-yard touchdown connection, which was followed up two possessions later with a 58-yard touchdown run by Edmondson that closed out Valwood’s scoring.

Valwood was able to play all its backup players in the second half, giving its starters valuable rest time for next week’s second round game against Trinity Christian. Valwood will be at home for its second round game and kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog
More