December 8, 2007
California, PA -- The NCAA decision to start using instant replay at the Division II level almost came at just the wrong time for the Valdosta State football team.
The Blazers won 28-24 at California (PA.) in the national semifinals Saturday, giving VSU a berth in the national championship game for the third time in the last six seasons.
The NCAA used replay at the Division II for the first time in the game, and the technology played a major role in the win.
Replay upheld a call with three minutes to go in the game, as Valdosta State receiver Zach Parker made a terrific one-handed touchdown catch to give the Blazers a 4-point lead.
The Vulcans would march back down the field, before Pennsylvania native Maurice Leggett picked off a pass while lying on his back in the endzone with a minute to go, wrapping up the game for the Blazers.
Or so it would seem.
The play was initially ruled incomplete, at despite what seemed to be pretty clear evidence, but the call was not overturned.
Cal U. would get another shot, but in a show of poetic justice, Leggett will intercept the ball in the endzone again.
This time it counted, and the turnover allowed the Blazers to run out the clock for the win.
Valdosta State was down 21-7 in the third quarter before mounting the comeback.
The Blazers will play Northwest Missouri State for the national championship Saturday in Florence, AL.