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Lewis gives lift to unsteady Blazers

 All throughout the country NCAA football teams have been enjoying cooler temperatures. That has not been the case for the Valdosta State Blazers (3-3, 3-2) who have been dealing with hot temperatures all season.  However, the Blazers have enjoyed the coolest temperatures of the season so far this week as they prepare for their upcoming game on Saturday against the Harding Bison (4-3, 2-2).
 The Blazers started the second half of their season off just as they wanted: with a win. The Blazers defeated the Henderson State Reddies last Saturday by a score of 33-20 at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Another tough game awaits the Blazers this Saturday as they travel to Searcy, Ark., to take on the Harding Bison in another Gulf South Conference game.
 The Harding Bison run the spread offense, which is something the Blazers have struggled to stop this season. The Blazers are 1-3 this season when facing a spread style offense. The Blazers’ only win against the spread was last week when they defeated Henderson State.
 The Bison currently stand at four wins this season, which is already double what they won the entire last season. The Blazers are 1-0 against Harding under Head Coach David Dean. That win was last season when the Blazers defeated Harding at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
 So far this season the Blazers have failed to play consistent football.  The Blazers have failed to win back-to-back games, which is something that has ruined almost any chance at a postseason berth for the Blazers. The Blazers are confident that they can get their first set of back-to-back wins this season when they face Harding on Saturday.
 “Well, we have got to go out and play good football, said VSU Head Coach David Dean. “We have to do the same thing we did this past Saturday. We have to play good defense and be very effective on third downs and be able to move the ball.”
 The last time a Blazer team failed to win back-to-back games was in 1999, which was also the last time the Blazers failed to have a winning season, and also the last time the Blazers failed to make the playoffs.�
 If the Blazers want to win their first set of back-to-back games this Saturday, the key may be to keep the ball in the hands of quarterback Kellen Lewis. Lewis has completed 56 of his 90 passing attempts with 630 yards and four passing touchdowns in the last two weeks. Lewis has also rushed for 225 yards on 27 carries with two rushing touchdowns in that same time period. Lewis was named the GSC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Henderson State.
 “He is the key,” said Dean. “He is more comfortable with our system and he is becoming more comfortable with the players around him and he has gained a lot of confidence. What he is doing now is that he is seeing things that earlier in the year he wasn’t seeing and that is making the difference for us.”
 Unlike the Blazers, who have failed to win back-to-back games this season, the Harding Bison have. In fact, the Bison are currently riding a two game winning streak heading into their meeting with the Blazers on Saturday. The Bison defeated Southern Arkansas 26-16 on Oct. 3 and Ouachita Baptist last week by a score of 21-7.
 Even with a 4-3 record so far this season, the Bison still have not been all that impressive. The Bison are only averaging around 19 points a game compared to the 29 points a game they let up.  The Blazers are currently averaging almost 27 points a game while they are allowing only 18.5 points a game.
 The Blazers and the Bison kick off at 7 p.m. E.T. on Saturday at First Security Stadium in Searcy Ark. and the game can be heard on Talk 92.1 F.M. here in Valdosta.

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