Defense shines in upset over #2 Valdosta
Carrollton, Ga. – November 5, 2005 – The losing steak is over. For the first time since the 1999 season, the West Georgia Braves have beaten the Valdosta State Blazers. The Braves’ defense stepped up to the challenge and powered UWG to a 29-15.
“John Perkins, Odell Willis, Kelvin Morris, Brandon Jamison, and all those guys just played their guts out,” said West Georgia head coach Mike Ledford. “I can’t tell you how resilient this team has been this year, working through adversity and they deserve this win.”
The UWG defense continued its season-long dominance, forcing seven turnovers on the afternoon while the offense surrendered zero.
The offense struck first, the lead early on a one-yard Brian Davis touchdown in the first quarter. Valdosta answered with a field goal, the only points the West Georgia defense gave up in the first half.
The Braves expanded the lead with a late second-quarter touchdown from Javari Taylor and the defense did the rest.
But the game was still in doubt with just over three minutes left in the contest with West Georgia leading 22-15 and Valdosta State driving. Blazer quarterback Barrett Wilkes faded back and threw the ball directly to Breon Ford, who returned the interception 69 yards for a touchdown dagger that let all of the air out of the VSU balloon.
West Georgia had trouble rushing the ball on the afternoon, getting just 36 yards on the ground, but it didn’t need any more with the defensive effort. The defense gave up 242 yards through the air, but yielded -16 yards on the ground, thanks to a tremendous effort from Willis.
The junior defensive lineman was a menace for Wilkes in the contest, collecting four sacks on the afternoon. That was one of two school records for the Braves in the game. The other was the seven turnovers, tying the record set in 2000 against Henderson State.
West Georgia finishes the 2005 campaign with a 7-4 record and 7-2 in the Gulf South Conference.