Macon, GA- Despite injuries along an already brand-new offensive line, head coach David Dean and the VSU Blazers began their title defense with a 36-21 win over Fort Valley State on Saturday in Macon.
The Wildcats opened the scoring on their first drive of the game, capping a 50-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run by Eugene Smith. The Blazers answered right back, with Cayden Cochran finding Regginald Lewis for a 16-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7.
Following a field goal, the Blazers increased their lead to 15-6 after Cedric O’Neal took a handoff and went 69 yards for the touchdown. After Fort Valley pinned VSU back for a safety, the offense found the end zone midway through the 2nd quarter when Cochran ran for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 22-8. The Blazers would tack on another TD in the 1st half, a 42-yard pass from Cochran to Willie Downs to go into the half leading 29-8.
The teams traded scores in the 3rd quarter, and a late Wildcat touchdown would make the difference 15, the closest FVSU would get.
Cayden Cochran finished the game 20/32 for 285 yards, 3 TD passes, and 2 interceptions. Running backs Cedric O’Neal (101) and Austin Scott (86) combined to rush for 187 yards in the win.