The Valdosta State Blazers certainly earned their way into the Division II Playoffs, winning their last five games to clinch a spot.
It was enough to draw a home playoff game, something head coach David Dean says was even surprising to the team.
They'll host fifth seeded Carson-Newman Saturday at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
Dean says being at home is a huge advantage, especially on a short week preparing for the Eagles' veer offense.
"Having the extra day at home is a great deal,number one from a rest standpoint," Dean says. "But then from a coaching standpoint, tying up all the loose ends, you don't have to do that a day early. It means a lot to us. I think our guys were really excited about it when they found out Sunday night about not having to travel."
Dean admits the team has been put through a tough stretch over the past month and a half, but adds the energy will be there for a playoff push.
"When you get in to this part of the season, with the excitement of the playoffs, you forget about how tired you are and you just keep pushing through," he laughs. "We feel like we've had our back against the wall for five straight weeks. This just makes number six."
The Blazers and Eagles kick off at noon Saturday from Valdosta. The winner advances to the second round, where they will be paired with top seeded West Georgia.
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