ROME, Ga. – From the opening possession of their season finale, the Valdosta State football team got right down to business, scoring early and often to run away with a 52-0 win over the Shorter Hawks in Gulf South Conference football action on Saturday afternoon in Rome, Ga.
With the victory, the Blazers finished their season at 5-4 overall and secured the program's 18th consecutive winning season, which extended a streak that started in 2000. The loss for the Hawks capped off an 0-10 finish and a 0-7 stint in league play. VSU's conference record concluded at 5-3.
The Blazers opened up the contest with a 7-play drive that ended with a Cedric Hollingshed touchdown carry at the 12:43 to give the Blazers a 7-0 advantage. Hollingshed's scoring rush capped off a 70-yard drive for the Blazers, and 45 of those yards came from Hollingshed.
The initial score sparked an offensive avalanche that included 35 first-half points for the Blazers. The Shorter offense threatened late in the first half after B.J. McCoy sprung loose for a 46-yard carry inside Valdosta State's 5-yard line. Brandon Roe made a touchdown saving tackle, however, and two plays later, Roe picked off Tyler Pullum and returned the interception 97 yards for a Blazer touchdown. The interception marked the fourth of the season for Roe and put Valdosta State in front 34-0 with 3:59 to play in the second quarter.
Valdosta State posted 530 yards on offense, 277 of which came on the ground. In contrast, the Black Swarm held the Hawks to just 241 total yards. Hollingshed was the leading rusher for the Blazers with 74 yards and two touchdown carries. The sophomore averaged 8.2 yards per carry and narrowly edged out Kenny Benjamin's 70-yard rushing effort.
Freshman Rogan Wells delivered another strong performance from the quarterback position with a 70.4 completion percentage on the day and 19 completions on 27 attempts. The Fort Mills, S.C. native threw for 191 yards and rushed for 39. He contributed to three of VSU's touchdowns with two scoring passes and one rushing touchdown. In addition, senior Jordan Germany produced two touchdowns, one on a pass reception and another on a rushing attempt.
On defense, Malik Slater and Henry Pryor teamed up to lead the Blazers with eight tackles each, while Sharmaine Washington added seven and Roe chipped in with six.