ALBANY, Ga. – Daniel Andersen's 43 yard field goal with 3:15 remaining in the game proved to be the game winner as No. 12 Valdosta State upset No. 6 Albany State in non-conference football action at ASU Coliseum Saturday evening.
Albany State (2-1) had two chances to regain the lead after Andersen's field goal, but saw both attempts come to naught. The ensuing drive after the field goal saw the Golden Rams turn the ball over on downs and, after a VSU turn over on downs, Stanley Jennings was intercepted by Harrison Dreiling, allowing Valdosta State (3-0) to run out the clock.
Valdsota State jumped out to an early lead as the Blazers scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns. After forcing a punt on the first ASU possession of the game, Valdosta State took over on its own 40 and needed just five plays to score the first points of the game. Austen Roberts completed all three of his passes on the drive for 47 yards, including the final 13 on a pass to Quin Roberson for the 7-0 Blazer lead.
After Albany State was forced to again punt, Valdosta State marched 85 yards on six plays to up its advantage to 14-0. Roberts completed four of his five passes on the drive, including a 55-yarder to Theseus Jackson on a third-and-11 screen pass that moved the ball to the ASU 18. On the next drive, David Bailey took a hand-off and spun out of a tackle at the line of scrimmage before racing untouched the rest of the way to the end zone.
The Golden Rams closed to within 14-6 just seconds into the second quarter as it took advantage of VSU's first turnover of the year. After a Roberts pass was intercepted and returned to the VSU 36, ASU used nine plays to get to the five. After a pass interference call in the end zone gave Albany State a first-and-goal from the Blazer 2, Nathan Hoyte scored on a rush. The extra point was blocked to set a 14-6 lead.
Daniel Andersen kicked field goals of 32 and 36 yards for Valdosta State on the next two Blazer possessions while Jennings connected with Darius Nelson on a four-yard touchdown pass with 2:12 remaining in the half, but had a two-point conversion pass fail, to establish a 20-12 VSU lead at the half.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, with Albany State scoring on an 81-yard pass from Jennings to Octavius Stanton on its first drive of the quarter. A two-point point conversion pass tied the game at 20-20, but Roberts connected with Seantavious Jones for a 63-yard touchdown pass to put VSU back in front by a touchdown.
Albany State marched 62 yards on 11 plays on a drive that covered the closing minutes of the third quarter and the first minute of the fourth to once again even the game at 27-27.
Valdosta State tallied 432 yards of total offense, including 289 passing and 143 on the ground. Roberts passed for 275 yards and ran for another 60 while 10 different Blazers caught a pass. Chris Pope led the VSU defense with nine tackles.
Albany State tallied finished the game with 303 yards, 245 of which came through the air. Stanton caught five passes for 115 yards while Bruce Ryals and Demonte Queen finished with seven tackles each.
Valdosta State returns home to Bazemore-Hyder Stadium next Saturday when the Blazers host Southern Arkansas in a non-conference game at 7:00 p.m.