Written by Juston Lewis, Staff Writer
Homecoming turned out to be a “no mas” win, and the Blazers hope to turn “no mas” into a theme for the rest of the season.
“No mas” has been a saying that the Blazers have adopted since the West Georgia game. The saying is derived from the Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran fight where Duran said “no mas” after his will to fight was taken.
“Great football teams and games come down to who takes the other teams will,” head coach Kerwin Bell said.
In the homecoming win, VSU did everything they could to take Delta State’s will. The defense had two interceptions to go along with their five sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss.
Special teams had a strong response after their unimpressive performance in the past few games. Donatello Brown returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the first quarter. Gary Simon had 142 return yards and a touchdown in the win. That performance earned him Gulf South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.
VSU’s offense contributed six touchdowns in the contest, but the offense became stagnant leading Bell to play both quarterbacks in the game.
Roland Rivers got the start. He compiled 100 yards through the air, with a touchdown to Dallas Baldner. He also ran for 49 yards and a touchdown. Adam Robles came in and had 113 yards through the air and two touchdowns to Steven Denmark and Anthony Ingram respectively.
“They’ve humbled themselves, and they know it is helping the team and we are winning,” Bell said about the success of the two quarterbacks. “I think they respect each other as football players and because of that they’re willing to sacrifice right now.”
Bell said this was the most complete game that VSU has played since he has been in Valdosta, and it has shown. The defense forced turnovers and put Delta State in tough down and distance situations. Special teams capitalized off their opportunities and provided good field position for the offense.
The Blazer offense went 5-5 on red-zone chances, which is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the West Florida game. The team put up a season high 56 points in the homecoming game, but Bell still sees work to be done.
“We want a balanced football team,” Bell said. “We’re starting to see it a little bit with special teams coming around. Our offense is coming around, and now we need to put it all together and be consistent especially when you go on the road.”
The Blazers will be traveling to face Florida Tech this weekend. The matchup will mark the Blazers third away game this season. The Blazers have given up an average of 42.5 points on the road while only allowing 22.25 at home. Florida Tech is averaging 39 ppg while only allowing 19.
The Blazers will look to gain ground on West Alabama before their matchup Nov. 5 matchup. West Alabama currently has a half game lead on the Blazers for number 2 in the GSC.
The game against Florida Tech is on Oct. 29, in Melbourne, Florida at 7 p.m.