Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

December 8, 2012

Valdosta State defeats Minnesota State

MANKATO, Minn. — Facing a top-five rush defense, Valdosta State's Cayden Cochran knew he needed to have a big game throwing the ball.

The junior quarterback delivered, passing for 278 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for two second-half scores as Valdosta State defeated Minnesota State-Mankato 35-19 in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II football playoffs Saturday.

"We knew (the Minnesota State) defense was going to try to stop the run like they do every week," said Cochran, who completed 16 of 28 passes. "I knew I was going to have to throw the ball. The offensive line did a great job and gave up (one sack), and the receivers did a great job. I just needed to get the ball in their hands."

Austin Scott added 158 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Blazers (11-2), who will face the winner of Saturday's game between Winston-Salem and West Texas A&M in the championship game Dec. 15 in Florence, Ala.

Cochran threw second-quarter touchdowns of 8 yards to Gerald Ford and 9 yards to Seantavious Jones, helping Valdosta State overcome a 10-0 deficit. Cochran added scoring runs of 5 yards and 1 yard in the second half, the latter giving the Blazers a 28-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Jones had four receptions for 122 yards in the game.

Valdosta State totaled 498 yards of offense, the most by a Minnesota State opponent this season. The Mavericks came into the game allowing 16.6 points and 271 yards of offense per game.

"We just made a couple more plays than they did," Blazers coach David Dean said. "Our defense stepped up in the second half, and we were able to establish our run game."

Minnesota State (13-1) got 195 yards passing and 127 yards rushing from Jon Wolf. His 17-yard TD pass to Adam Thielen gave the Mavericks a 10-0 lead with 12:17 left in the first half. Thielen finished with six catches for 128 yards.

Their other touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Andy Pfeiffer in the fourth quarter. Minnesota State was 4 of 5 on red-zone scoring opportunities, but two of those were short field goals by Sam Brockshus. Valdosta State had four touchdowns in four red-zone possessions.

"We have been pretty good at getting points in those situations this season," said Minnesota State coach Aaron Keen. "Today, (Valdosta State) did a good job of shutting us down. We had to do a better job of converting those opportunities."

Keen replaced coach Todd Hoffner in August after Hoffner was charged with two felony counts of child pornography. A judge dismissed the case two weeks ago, agreeing with Hoffner that videos taken with a university-issued cellphone of his children dancing after a bath depicted innocent child's play. But Hoffner has not been reinstated by the university.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Trojans get one hit, but win region title

    If high school baseball games lasted six innings, Zack Bullard would have had a no-hitter and the Tift County Blue Devils would have been on top of the region standings. It was the last inning that cost both player and team. Coffee only had one hit, but it was all they needed for a 2-1 victory that clinched the 1-AAAAAA title.

    April 17, 2014

  • Remembering Miss Mattie

    The year was 1991.
    My father and I were at McDonald's on Cleveland Avenue in Atlanta on the way to a Braves game. We were standing in line when a big man behind him just out of the blue started up a conversation.

    April 17, 2014

  • Coffee can’t brew any offense against Tift’s McCray

    For at least a few hours, the Tift County Blue Devils will be able to say they share part of the Region 1-AAAAAA baseball lead. They were winners of the first game of a doubleheader Thursday over the Coffee High Trojans, 4-0. The sides were even with two division losses.

    April 17, 2014

  • Panthers outlast Warriors, 2-1

    The Tiftarea Academy Panthers provided a little more separation in the Region 3-AAA race Wednesday evening. Fresh off a 2-1 win Monday, they added another one, this a 2-1 win over the Brookwood School Warriors.

    April 17, 2014

  • Devils to dine on Coffee and Crisp

    Big games and a big trip. Life takes an exciting turn over the next few days for the Diamond Devils of Tift County High. They start with a doubleheader this afternoon at 4:30 with the Coffee Trojans. Two days later, they will sliding into bases at Turner Field.

    April 16, 2014

  • Lady Panthers gouge GCS, 7-1

    The Tiftarea Academy soccer teams had a windy Tuesday night for Senior Night but they didn’t let the chill in the air stop them from keeping the scoreboard heated up. Seniors Neeli Fortson, Lauren Goforth, Ali Rippy, Britton Robitzsch and Austin Tenneson were recognized after the Lady Panthers sealed a 7-1 victory against the Georgia Christian Lady Generals. The Panthers had to settle for a 1-1 tie.

    April 16, 2014

  • Nashville hosts 5th annual Tyler Carter Memorial Duathlon

    The 5th annual Tyler Carter Memorial Duathlon will be held on Saturday, May 3  at the Berrien County Parks and Recreation Department.  The Duathlon Race course will consist of a 2.3-mile run into an 18.5-mile bike ride and end with a 2.3-mile run.

    April 16, 2014

  • McMinn, Beier shut down Glenwood

    The Tiftarea Academy Panthers mustered only five hits Monday night, but that would be enough for them. Behind the arm of Noah McMinn, clutch hitting from Zach Beier and a big trick play, they bested the Glenwood (Ala.) Gators by a 2-1 score.

    April 15, 2014

  • Panthers ready for region track championships

    Through early Tuesday, the track team at Tiftarea Academy knew they would be participating at a region track meet today. They just were not sure where.
    Coach Ryan Branch said Monday that the meet was scheduled for Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany, but if the event it was hosting was rained out Tuesday, TIftarea would be the hosts. The rains came, but it was not enough to change plans. Branch confirmed Tuesday afternoon that they would be on the road.

    April 15, 2014

  • Tift wins Lady Trojan tourney

    April 15, 2014

Business Marquee
House Ads
Weather Radar
Video
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results