Special to the Times
On a Thursday night in Titletown the Valwood Valiant’s had a lot of football to play with three different teams seeing the field.
The Valiants 5th/6th grade fell to the Tiftarea Panthers on Thursday at Goddard Field, 8-6.
Valwood and Tiftarea were locked in a defensive battle throughout the game, going scoreless through the first quarter.
The Panthers got on the board first as they scored their lone touchdown of the evening on a Logan Crosson run from 3 yards out.
Tiftarea converted the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.
The Valiants would respond quickly and spectacularly.
James Gatlin had an 83-yard touchdown run on a broken play to bring Valwood back within two.
Gatlin picked up a bad snap, eluded several defenders in the backfield, and outran everyone to the end zone for the score.
Unfortunately the Valiants could not pick up the two-point conversion which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Valiants fell to 0-2 with the loss while Tiftarea improves to 1-1-1 this season.
Sam Martin scored three touchdowns and recovered a fumble and Terry Belcher added a score of his own as the Valwood junior varsity team shutout Tiftarea’s JV, 26-0 Thursday night at Goddard Field.
Martin, who had 121 yards rushing, got the scoring started early as he took his first touchdown in from three yards out in the first quarter.
Martin’s next touchdown came in a more dramatic fashion as he sliced through the Panther defense for an 89-yard score in the second quarter.
On Valwood's next possession, Martin took it in from 30 yards out to put the Valiants up 20-0.
Belcher had a long run of his own in the third quarter.
The eighth grader took a pitch 47 yards to pay dirt and giving Valwood the 26-0 final score.
Belcher added an interception, as did Dane Fafard.
Martin’s fumble recovery came with 48 seconds remaining to allow Valwood's stifling defense to preserve the shutout.
It was a last-minute scheduled game between the Georgia Christian and Valwood on Thursday night that saw a dominate performance by the Valiant in a commanding 34-6 victory.
The Georgia Christian Generals dropped to 2-2 on the season.
The Generals had a tough time getting the offense going and had trouble stopping the Valiant offense, led by three touchdown runs in the first half.
The Valiant were able to run the ball at will and compiled 126 rushing yards in the game, including 96 in the first half alone.
“We are a spread team and that’s what we try to do,” Valwood Head Coach Ashley Anderson said. “We spread it and see what they are going to give us and throw it or run it.”
“I thought we ran our offense well,” Georgia Christian Head Coach Kent Copeland said. “We could have made one or two extra catches for yards. Alex King ran the ball unreal. We were able to get the ball moved (up the field).
Sophomore running back Alex King ran the ball 12 times for 70 yards and the lone Generals’ touchdown.
The Valiant pulled their starters after the first half of a 28-0 game, although it was not due to the score.
“We had some guys that we wanted to get some work tonight,” Coach Anderson said. “We got rained out of our first game of the season so we are a game behind. We had some guys that we wanted to get some work and once they got it, they were done.”
In the second half the Generals’ offense started to gain momentum, even though it was not the Valiant starters on the field, Coach Copeland was pleased with what he saw. GCS accumulated 41 total first half yards and 128 yards in the second half.
Georgia Christian struggled on special teams.
They gave up an opening 65-yard kickoff return that led to a touchdown. GCS also gave up a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown immediately after scoring their only touchdown.
The Generals were scheduled to play Tiftarea but due to injuries the game got cancelled and GCS scheduled the game against Valwood Thursday morning.
“Thanks to Valwood for giving us the opportunity to play,” Coach Kent Copeland said.
Derrick Davis of the Valdosta Daily Times contributed to this article.