The Valdosta State Blazers rolled over the UWG Wolves 42-7 on Saturday, spoiling the Homecoming celebrations that surrounded University Field.
Students and fans packed the stands to witness what was touted to be a battle between the Gulf South Conference’s two most powerful offenses. The Wolves had been averaging over 35 points in each of their four games this season while the Blazers had averaged over 40 coming into the game.
UWG’s woes started as early as the opening kickoff as the Blazers executed a successful onside kick to gain possession of the ball. The Wolves stood firm, forcing Valdosta to punt after three plays. Throughout much of the first quarter, both teams looked like a pair of heavyweight boxers circling and feeling each other out in the opening rounds.
The Blazers began an impressive drive late in the first quarter, which ended with the first score of the game in the opening seconds of the second quarter as Cayden Cochran completed a short pass to Gerald Ford. UWG appeared to be gaining momentum as the Wolves’ Jamaree James picked off a Valdosta pass, stopping another dominant drive by the Blazers.
Though there were no points allowed in the first quarter, the Blazers amassed 21 points in the second.
The second half was much like the first as Valdosta State continued to showcase their many offensive weapons on the ground and through the air. The Wolves’ only points came as a few unhappy UWG fans were dissipating from the stadium. UWG’s touchdown came as Quan Jones ran the ball into the endzone with two minutes left in the game as the Wolves managed to avoid being shut out in a game that many had hoped would end in celebration.
The Wolves came short of their typical yardage totals this season, with only 217 total yards of offense. The Blazers tore through the UWG defense for 317 rushing yards and 517 total offensive yards. The Wolves’ rushing attack was led by David Bailey, who had 51 yards on ten carries. Seth Hinsley was close behind with 48 yards on 14 carries.
“We played a very good football team in Valdosta State today, and we didn’t play very good ourselves,” said head coach Daryl Dickey. “It is what it is. We’re very, very disappointed in that. We had a great crowd and a great atmosphere, and we’ve got a very special place here at the University of West Georgia and we did not represent that very well.”
UWG’s starting quarterback, Austin Trainor sustained an injury to his index finger in the first quarter and was replaced by true freshman Dallas Dickey. Dickey stayed at the helm of the Wolves’ offense for the remainder of the game.
“Hopefully we can get this put behind us and mend some of our injuries. We’re banged and beat up a little bit, so we need to get ourselves ready to go to Delta State,” said Dickey.
UWG, still looking for their first conference win, has a record of 2-3 on the season.