September 7, 2005
By Mike Shiers
Valdosta -- The Valdosta State football team has picked up this season right where they left off last year.
Coming off the first National Championship in the programs history, the Blazers defense has held their opponents to less than 10 points a game.
VSU topped rival Albany State in their home opener this past weekend.
The Rams were the last team to beat Valdosta State, the Blazers say it's never an easy game with ASU.
Senior Dedrick Morrison says he knows who the Blazers biggest rival is.
"They say that West Georgia is our biggest rival, we have a basket game or whatever, but Albany is pretty much our rival due to the fact that we started off slow in the first half in that game against Albany last year, and came back strong, and went on to win the national championship.
"I guess they're pretty hurt about that."
Blazers coach Chris Hatcher says, "It's always a big game when you play Albany State. "It's become one of the biggest rivalry games that we do have."
Valdosta State beat Albany State 24-9 in their home opener, and coach Hatcher says they always enjoy the friendly confines of Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
"Oh, we like playing at home, strictly because of being in this community and the strong support we're starting to get."
Morrison agrees, "It was a sold out crowd, and I believe that kind of amped up the whole team."
The Blazers were happy to use a familiar formula to beat their rival.
Morrison says, "We came out kind of slow, but that's how we play, and we came out with a big win."
"Last year we had a team that was excellent at coming back, and so far this year we've been down in both games, and mounted some sort of a comeback," says Hatcher.
Valdosta State is now 11 and 1 all time against Albany State.
The Blazers return to action this weekend, as they host Ouachita Baptist at 7 o'clock.