Written by Austin Wells, Staff Writer
Rushing yards were in great supply Thursday night as the VSU Blazers’ huge 4th quarter carried them to a 37-22 victory over the Shorter Hawks.
Despite allowing a total of 520 yards, 466 of them rushing, the Blazers were still able to defeat Shorter with a strong rushing attack on their own, gaining 438 total yards and 266 on the ground.
The Blazers’ running force was led by senior running back Cedric O’Neal, who was only 2 yards shy of his career high by running for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The night started off well for the Blazers as freshman kicker Gavin Wilson’s first 2 field goals of his career and an EJ Hilliard touchdown pass to Dallas Baldner gave VSU a 13-0 late in the second quarter. However, the Blazers would give up 10 points before halftime, including a touchdown run by SU’s BJ McCoy who ended up having a career-high 256 of the 466 rushing yards for the Hawks.
A scoreless 3rd quarter would set up VSU’s big 4th quarter, where the Blazers were able to score 24 points. This included both of O’Neal’s touchdowns on the night, one of which being a 91-yard TD run that sealed the victory for the Blazers late in the quarter.
The epic run by O’Neal was not only a career long for the senior, but it was also the second longest rush in VSU football history. O’Neal’s run was only 2 yards shy of the record, which was done by Dominique Ross in 1994.
The victory moved the Blazers to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the Gulf South Conference, and the loss dropped Shorter to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the GSC. The Blazers’ next game will be at home on October 31st against the West Alabama Tigers.