VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Valdosta State football team saw their three-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the No. 23 ranked West Alabama Tigers in a 38-14 loss in Gulf South Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in Valdosta, Ga.
The homecoming matchup stayed tight in the opening quarter but went in favor of the Tigers after a lengthy seven-play drive that Lakendric Thomas finished off for his first of two touchdowns on the day.
The Tigers tacked on 10 additional points in the second quarter, thanks to two scoring opportunities set up by a couple of big plays. Harry Satterwhite connected with Donta Armstrong in the opening drive of the frame for a 38-yard pass to spark an early touchdown in the second quarter, and a big rush by Thomas, which accounted for 53 of his 129 rushing yards, set up Colin Douglas for a 25-yard field goal.
Trailing 17-0 late in the first half, the Blazers didn't back down. With less than two minutes to go before halftime, freshman Rogan Wells delivered a 29-yard touchdown pass to Brian Saunds down the right side of the field. The score marked Saunds' fifth touchdown reception of the season and pulled VSU to within 10 just before the half.
Perhaps the biggest blow of the night against the Blazers came on UWA's opening drive of the second half, when UWA running back Tyler Rogers found a seam from the Tigers' 41-yard line and carried it 59 yards for a touchdown. With the score, West Alabama extended their lead to 24-7.
En route to a 511-yard offensive effort with 277 rushing yards, the Tigers added 14 additional points in the second half. Meanwhile, Valdosta State's lone second half touchdown came on a highlight-reel catch by Tshumbi Johnson in the left corner of the endzone.
Wells finished the afternoon with 91 rushing yards and 199 passing yards in the contest. The Blazers struggled to convert on third down, however, with just four successful conversions on 14 opportunities. Big plays by the Tigers plagued the Blazers throughout the day, and 123 penalty yards on nine penalties added to VSU's woes.
With the loss, the Blazers fell to 4-4 overall and saw their conference record drop to an even 3-3. The Tigers solidified their position at the top of the GSC leaderboards with the victory and improved to 8-2 overall, 7-1 in GSC action.
Valdosta State will hit the road next weekend to face the Shorter Hawks in Rome, Ga. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.