Behind a career-high five touchdown passes from reigning Gulf South Conference Player of the Week sophomore Rogan Wells and two interceptions returned for scores, the Valdosta State football team upset No. 8 West Alabama 58-24 Saturday evening in a battle of undefeated teams.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VSU took the opening kick and fumbled setting the Tigers up with great field position at the VSU 13.
- UWA's Harry Satterwhite found Qua Boyd for a score and a 7-0 lead just 57 seconds into the game.
- Following a booming 62-yard punt by the Tigers to the VSU eight, VSU redshirt sophomore quarterback Rogan Wells found sophomore Lio'undre Gallimore for an 88-yard catch and pass tying the score at seven with 7:20 left in the first quarter.
- The Blazers then established their will as Satterwhite's pass was picked off and returned for a score by junior Ravarius Rivers for 66 yards and a 14-7 lead.
- Satterwhite then was picked off again on the ensuing drive by redshirt freshman Taurus Dotson at the UWA 29.
- VSU made quick work in the drive as Wells found freshman David White for an 18-yard score and a 21-7 lead with 3:36 left in the first quarter.
- The Blazer "D" stood tall on a fourth and two from the VSU 46 as Satterwhite was sacked by junior Joseph Mazone for the turnover on downs.
- VSU scored on its fourth-straight drive as it converted two third downs and fourth down before Wells found sophomore Travis Taylor for a three-yard touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
- Tiger backup quarterback Jacob Murphree engineered an eight play, 78-yard drive for a score as he connected with Bayley Blanchard for a great one-handed touchdown reception and a 28-14 score with 8:35 left in the half.
- Following punts by both teams, the Blazers took over with 4:48 left at their own 12. The Blazers methodically marched down the field and, on a third and 10, Wells hit sophomore Brian Saunds in the back of the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the half, matching last week's output and a 35-14 lead at intermission.
- In the third quarter, the Tigers marched down the field with Satterwhite back behind center, but kicker Jordan Bennett missed a 30-yard field goal.
- After a punt by the Blazers, UWA found some momentum and again had a good drive which resulted in points on Satterwhite's second touchdown pass of the game, to Boyd once again for a 35-21 score. On the drive, the Tigers benefited from a targeting call and a pass interference penalty deep in VSU territory.
- UWA forced another Blazer punt as the Tigers looked as if they had gotten some momentum, but a catch and fumble by the Tigers gave the ball back to VSU. Boyd had the ball knocked free by sophomore Mondrell Jefferson for the turnover.
- VSU used a great run of 22 yards by redshirt freshman Jamar Thompkins. UWA forced the Blazers into a field goal from 26-yards for senior Andrew Gray and a 38-21 score with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
- Another pass interference penalty on the Blazers extended the next UWA drive as the Tigers began passing on just about every down. On a 3rd and eight from the VSU 44, the Blazers came up with the stop forcing the punt.
- With 1:34 left in the third, Wells found Saunds for a 67-yard strike and a 45-21 lead as it was Wells' career-best fifth touchdown toss and second to Saunds in the game.
- Satterwhite was intercepted for the second pick-six of the game as junior Alex Brown returned the pick 21 yards for a 52-21 lead.
- Senior Adam Robles also got into the scoring act later with a 38-yard touchdown pass to freshman David White for a 58-21 score as the extra-point attempt was blocked by Jordan Graddy.
- UWA added a field goal, but thoughts and prayers are with Boyd, who was carted off the field with about eight minutes remaining in the game.
Inside the numbers
- For the half, VSU had 275 yards of offense on 45 plays with 63 rushing yards and 212 passing, while Wells was 15 of 21 for 212 yards and four scores.
- The Blazers had 12 first downs and were 3 of 7 on third down.
- UWA had 60 yards rushing and 119 passing for 179 yards on 38 plays as Satterwhite was 6 of 13 with two interceptions and a touchdown, while Murphree was 5 of 10 for 56 yards and a score.
- VSU threw for a season-high 400 yards as the team was 27 of 41 passing with no interceptions and six total touchdown strikes. The Blazers had 28 rushes for 135 yards, while recording 535 yards for the game on 69 plays.
- UWA totaled 411 total yards with 291 passing and 120 rushing, but three interceptions and one fumble by the Tigers led to a 24-7 lead in points off turnovers by the Blazers.
- Wells finished 24 of 37 for a career-high 341 yards, while rushing for 15 yards on seven carries.
- Saunds had six catches for 117 yards and two scores, while White had three catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Gallimore added 110 yards on three catches and the opening score.
- Defensively the Blazers were all over the field with three sacks for 15 yards, five tackles for loss for 24 yards, one forced and returned fumble, along with three interceptions and two pick-sixes.
- VSU improved to 33-5 all-time against UWA and the 15th win in 18 tries in Livingston.
- It marked the 58th win over a ranked team for the Blazers in program history (58-59-2) and was the fifth win for a perfect 5-0 record on Sept. 15 in program history.
VSU returns home to host Shorter University next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.