December 2, 2007
Valdosta - If the Valdosta State Blazers are going to play in the NCAA Division II Championship for a third time in six years, they are going to have win on the road.
As expected, the NCAA DII football committee has announced Valdosta State will play at California University of Pennsylvania next Saturday at 11:00 a.m in the DII semifinals.
The Vulcans are 13-0 and the Blazers are 11-1, which is one reason why Cal U. will host next week's game. which will be televised on ESPNU.
This is the first time VSU will be on the road in the postseason since 2000, when they played at Delta State.
It's only their third road game in nineteen NCAA playoff games.
The Blazers have played two games on a neutral field in Florence, Alabama, where they lost to Grand Valley State in the 2002 championship game and beat Pittsburg State in the 2004 title game.
"We said in the locker room after the game: Anyone, anywhere, anytime," says head coach David Dean. "We don't care where we gotta go. We don't care who we gotta play. It's just the next step, and that's the approach we're going to make."
The Valdosta State Blazers scored three special team touchdowns in a 37-23 win over North Alabama in the NCAA Division II playoffs Saturday.
It's the second time VSU has beaten the Lions this year, and sends the Blazers into the national semifinals against California University of Pennsylvania.
Former Dougherty standout Ronnye Nelson opened the special teams scoring for Valdosta State, running a kickoff back 91-yards for a touchdown in the first half.
The Blazers had back-to-back punt returns for scores to put them in the lead in the 4th quarter, as Sherard Reynolds brought one back 65-yards, followed by a Roger King return of 80.