December 8, 2004
Valdosta - In the hours after their loss to Grand Valley State in the 2002 Division II national championship game, Valdosta State players and coaches all had to wonder when and if the Blazers would get another shot to play for a national title.
Fortunately for the Gulf South Conference champion Blazers the wait between title shots is only two years.
After holding their final practice of the season in Valdosta, the Blazers loaded up the buses Wednesday afternoon and prepared for their nine hour ride to Florence Alabama for Saturday's national championship showdown with number one ranked and unbeaten Pittsburg State.
Two years ago, Valdosta State was just happy to be playing for the national championship.
But not this year.
The Blazers says their mission in Florence this weekend is to win the school's first national title in football and they believe the experience from their last trip to the title game will help achieve that goal.
Senior running back Tyran Robinson said "I am ready to go back to Florence. The last time we went up there and we lost and I really don't want to come back with the same feeling."
Senior offensive guard Torrey Howard said "We went up there a couple of years ago, I was a sophomore then, a young guy. It didn't come out like a I wanted it to. This year we are going to try to win the game."
While this is Valdosta State's second trip to the D-II title game in the last three years, it is the first for the Pitt State Gorillas since 1995.
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