For the VSU Blazers the playoffs start tonight. The Valdosta State Blazers (2-2) will face the Delta State Statesmen (2-2) tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Cleveland Miss.
The loser of this matchup will be mathematically eliminated from the 2009 Division II playoff race which makes the remainder of the season a must-win for both the Blazers and the Statesmen.
The Blazers are coming off an explosive 35-6 win over West Alabama last Saturday night at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. It was a game in which the Blazers offense racked up 488 yards of total offense compared to West Alabama’s 231. The Statesmen are coming off a disappointing 38-14 loss to Ouachita Baptist which knocked the Statesmen from 9th in the Division II Coaches Poll to the 25th ranking.
Due to the short week the Blazers failed to enjoy a day off and have been on the practice field every day. The Blazers left for Mississippi on Tuesday night and practiced at Mississippi State University on Wednesday night as they finalized their preparations for Delta State.
Along with being an elimination game for the loser, another storyline will be the pursuit of the all-time school and conference receiving record for VSU senior wide receiver Cedric Jones. Jones will enter Thursday night’s game only three receptions off the all-time career school and conference record, which currently stands at 247 receptions and is held by VSU alumni Sean Pender. Jones says it will be a great accomplishment but it is not the main goal.
“It will be an honor to win the prize and to break the record of Sean,” said Jones. “However, the bigger thing is winning games and being able to help the team in a productive way.”
In his first three career games against Delta State Jones has racked up 22 passes, nine of which happened the last time Jones played at Delta State which was during Jones’ freshman season.
The game at Delta State will be televised as the GSC Game of the week. You can also hear the game on Talk 92.1 here in Valdosta.