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Junior quarterback Sammy Edwards drops back to complete a pass to graduate wide receiver Xavier Williams during VSU's 42-14 win over Shorter.

Blazers stun West Florida with late game heroics from Sammy Edwards

The legend of Sammy Edwards continues to grow.

The junior quarterback led a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter finding sophomore wide receiver Ted Hurst for a 28-yard touchdown pass in the final minute.

After West Florida’s Griffin Cerra’s 51-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right at the buzzer, the Blazers (8-1, 5-1 Gulf South Conference) escaped Pensacola, Florida, with a thrilling 31-28 win over the Argos (6-3, 4-2 GSC).

The win snapped a three-game losing streak to West Florida. It also marked VSU’s first win in Pensacola since 2018 during their run to a national championship.

More importantly, the win keeps the Blazers in the thick of the GSC race with two weeks left in the regular season. The Blazers moved into a three-way tie for first place with Delta State and West Georgia atop the conference standings.

Despite that, the Argos had their way in the early going as they built a 14-0 lead as the Blazers’ offense sputtered out the gate.

However, the Blazers came up with a critical play on defense with West Florida backed up deep in their own territory.

West Florida running back Jamontez Woods coughed up the ball as junior defensive lineman J’Quan Hicks knocked the ball free. Graduate defensive back Jacob Harris then recovered the ball and took it in for a short scoop-and-score touchdown to get VSU on the board.

That kicked off a 21-point second quarter for the Blazers as they scored on two of their last three possessions of the half.

VSU’s first offensive touchdown came in a hurry. Edwards hit graduate wide receiver B.K. Smith for a 56-yard gain, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Bud Chaney on the next play.

The Argos retook the lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peewee Jarrett to wide receiver John Jiles.

The Blazers then answered back with a game-tying drive as Edwards got into a groove in the passing game. Still, it was the ground game that punched it in as Edwards kept it himself for a six-yard score right before half.

Though the Blazers scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, it was a mostly dismal performance on the ground. As a team, the Blazers finished with -3 rushing yards as West Florida got to Edwards five times.

The teams would remain tied through the third quarter as both squads had little success offensively.

The Argos finally broke the tie at the top of the fourth quarter. Running back C.J. Wilson gashed the Blazers for a 29-yard touchdown run as West Florida took a 28-21 lead.

VSU responded on their ensuing drive with a score of their own. After driving into West Florida territory, the Blazers were forced to settle for a 48-yard field goal from graduate kicker Estin Thiele.

The Argos put together a strong drive with hopes of putting away the Blazers, marching down to the VSU 22-yard line. However, on a fourth-and-1, the Blazers stood tall, meeting Jarrett in the backfield to force a turnover on downs.

Edwards did the rest from there.

The Blazers went on an 11-play march that culminated in the game-winning score. Edwards went 5 for 8 on the drive for 71 yards. He also converted a pair of fourth downs to keep VSU’s hopes alive.

Edwards finished 20 for 32 with 275 yards and the game-winning touchdown pass as well as a touchdown on the ground.

The Blazers will be on the road again as they face the West Alabama Tigers (4-4, 3-3 GSC) in Livingston, Alabama, on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.

Written by Austin Bruce, Co-Editor in Chief. Photo courtesy of Austin Bruce.

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