VALDOSTA—Valdosta State football held the first scrimmage of the fall schedule on Wednesday. The Blazers focused on situational football, beginning different series from different positions on the field.
The team cycled through first, second and third team play with players rotating in for every new series.
Safety Cory Roberts had the best overall performance in the scrimmage.
Roberts had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown and the second a would-be score if not for the efforts of quarterback Ivory Durham.
He also forced an errant throw from Durham that nearly resulted in an interception on the defensive sideline.
Roberts was able to nudge wide receiver Brian Saunds off of a route which forced Rogan Wells to checkdown to a different receiver. But he also made key tackles that prevented long carries by Jamar Tompkins or Seth McGill.
While not perfect, the defense had an impressive showing overall.
Jameon Gaskin displayed why he led the team in tackles last season and was selected as a preseason all-conference player.
Taj Taylor had an interception return for a touchdown that was negated by an offsides penalty on a teammate.
Nick Moss continued to be a vocal presence and leader of the team by showing respect to teammates after big plays.
On offense there would be more of the same.
Not perfect, but yet, impressive.
The top player on offense was Wells—an expectation of a potential Harlon Hill trophy winner. Wells did a good job of progressing through his reads and not forcing bad passes.
He looked comfortable in the pocket and displayed a poise that is not typical for players with his athletic ability. Instead of relying on his legs at the first sign of trouble, Wells waited, shifted, focused and found receivers.
The Blazers offense opened the day with a deep ball to receiver Lio’undre Gallimore from their own end zone. The catch was the first of many for the preseason all-conference selection.
On a play where Durham was forced out of the pocket, Gallimore readjusted his route to catch a pass on the sideline and secure the ball before falling out of bounds.
Saunds continued to display his reliableness with his route running and sure-hands.
The first-team offensive line looked strong, creating holes for McGill and Thompkins and providing protection for Wells.
With the first scrimmage down, the Blazers will practice in shells today before having an off day tomorrow.
The next scrimmage is scheduled for Aug. 21 on the Blazer’s student night at the VSU field house.