Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

August 31, 2013

Valiants defeat Spartans, 27-13

HAHIRA — The Valwood Valiants opened their 2013 season in the same way that they ended every game last year.

After a ten-minute lightning delay, the Valiants, coming off an undefeated 2012 season, left Goddard Field victorious off a 27-13 contest over the Spartans of Edmund Burke Academy.

This game served as a season opener for the Valiants after their August 23 road matchup against Windsor Academy was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Spartans came into the game with a win under their belt, having bested the Buccaneers of Briarwood Academy last week in their annual “Backyard Battle.”

“I have to give credit to (Edmund Burke),” Valwood Head Coach Ashley Henderson said.  “They played a great game and there were some mental errors on our part.  It’s my responsibility to make sure that those same mistakes don’t happen again,” added Henderson.

A concern coming into the season was Valwood’s ability to replace the production of their graduating class from a season ago, mainly that of quarterback Jake Lastinger and running back Khary Paige.

Senior quarterback Seth Carlo stepped in and helped fill the void in a hurry.

The Lowndes High School transfer finished his first game as a Valiant connecting on 10 of 16 passes for 93 yards, as well as seven attempts on the ground for 21 yards and a touchdown.

While he put on a show, Carlo also threw two interceptions, but Coach Henderson understands that this is only the beginning.

“(Seth) made some really good throws,” Henderson said.  “He had a couple of turnovers, but that’s not always on the quarterback.  He was able to get us into the end zone those last couple times to put the game away.  Overall I thought he played really well.”

Carlo also acknowledges that although the Valiants pulled out a win, there is still room to improve.

“I was a little unsure of how Coach (Henderson) would handle things, but he kept me in,” Carlo said.  “We made some mental mistakes, but we’re gonna go back Monday and work hard to make sure we fix everything we can.”

Valwood’s special teams and defense blew the game open in the first quarter.  On Edmund Burke’s first possession, Valiant Char Merine intercepted a pass from Spartans’ quarterback Lane Christian and turned it into a touchdown for the home team.

The fans at Goddard Field would not have to wait long to see their Valiants add to their early lead.

Late in the first quarter, an option pitch from Carlo to junior running back Marik Merine turned into a 23-yard touchdown run.  After a failed two-point conversion attempt, Valwood’s lead stood at 13-0.

The visiting Spartans would not go down without a fight.

Late in the second quarter, Christian converted on fourth and long with a 13-yard touchdown pass to running back Ben Murray in the right corner of the end zone, but the Valiants managed to head to the locker room with a 13-7 lead at the half.

Early in the third quarter, the Spartans added another touchdown, but a missed extra point attempt left the game tied at 13.

Valiant teammates and fans had a scare late in the third quarter, when Marik carried an option to the right sideline and came up hobbling.

Marik would leave the game with an apparent leg injury but was able to return shortly after.

If any fans were concerned that Marik’s injury may have been serious, their doubts were laid to rest in the fourth quarter.  His second touchdown run late in the quarter sealed the Valiant victory.

“I sprained my ankle, but it feels better,” Marik said.  “The coaches checked me and I was good to go.”

Marik finished with seven rushing attempts for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Edmund Burke’s Lane Christian ended the game with 107 yards and one touchdown on 12 of 20 passing attempts.  Spartans Ben Murray and Mason Winkler added 26 yards on 10 rushing attempts each.

Valwood (1-0) will see its next action on Sept. 6 when the Valiants travel to Woodbury to face off against the Wildcats of Flint River Academy.  The Spartans (1-1) will return to Waynesboro for a contest against the Jaguars of Jefferson Academy.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More