It was a solid start to the 2012 season for the Lowndes Vikings.
The Vikings blew out the Thomasville Bulldogs 52-0 in preseason action Friday night at Martin Stadium.
Lowndes’ varsity team racked up 255 yards and shut out the Bulldogs 24-0 in the first half before the scoreboard was reset for the second half, which was played primarily by the junior varsity teams, with the exception of special teams. The Vikings outscored Thomasville 28-0 across the final two quarters.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson said. “They played hard and fast. We still have a lot we have to work on, though…I’m very proud of the level they played.”
McPherson said he was pleased with his team’s performance, saying he thought it was a good starting point to the 2012 season. He especially liked the effort of his younger players in the second half.
“We played our young kids in the second half, like Thomasville, and I tell you, I am real impressed with some of those young guys,” McPherson said.
Tevin Brown finished the first half with four carries for 25 yards and a touchdown; Nick Burgman finished with 23 yards rushing with a 1-yard touchdown and a 65-yard receiving touchdown. He also returned a punt for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Tevin Orr added a 50-yard rush with his only carry of the game, setting up Lowndes’ first score of the night a few plays later. Sophomore Ahman Brown added five carries for 91 yards and a third quarter touchdown.
In the varsity quarterback battle, junior Seth Carlo looked sharp and produced for the Vikings. Carlo finished 3 for 6 for 95 yards, including the 65-yard touchdown connection with Burgman, which gave the Vikings a 14-0 first quarter lead. Senior Alex Stephenson, a transfer from cross-town rival Valdosta, started the game for Lowndes and finished the night 0-1 passing. He also gained 23 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Evan Folsom played at quarterback the entire second half for the Vikings.
Both Carlo and Stephenson struggled at times, especially in the red zone. After failing to find a wide-open receiver early on his third drive — he pulled the ball down and gained minimal yardage — Stephenson overthrew a receiver in the end zone. The Vikings were called for a penalty on the play so the pass didn’t count towards his passing numbers. A few plays later, Stephenson under threw a wide-open receiver in the end zone, forcing the Vikings to settle for a field goal, which made the score 24-0 late in the second quarter.
“I thought both of them played well,” said McPherson of his quarterbacks. “Like any spot on the field, I don’t think anybody played perfect.”
Following Lowndes’ field goal, Carlo led the Vikings back into the red zone, and after having two rushing touchdowns get called back due to penalties, a Bulldog defender intercepted Carlo and returned it down the sideline.
On Stephenson’s first drive, Lowndes needed just five plays to grab a 7-0 lead, coming on a 1-yard run by Burgman. The drive was helped by Orr’s 50-yard run down the left sideline.
After a Bulldog punt, Carlo took his first series under center. On the third play of the drive, Carlo found Burgman in stride across the middle for the 65-yard touchdown.
“I think we played good,” Carlo said. “I want to give the dedication to my line and God. I think we had a good game. We made our plays…I had butterflies coming out in the beginning and after hitting Nick in stride, everything went away.”
After a Lowndes punt and a 44-yard return by Tiquan Lang, who was named to the preseason Class 6A All-State team earlier in the day, Lowndes started its third possession of the night at the Bulldogs’ 12-yard line. Two runs by Brown and the Vikings increased their lead to 21-0.
The following drive, Gustavo Gonzales converted a 30-yard field goal, the Vikings’ only one of the night.
Defensively, the Vikings’ starting defense held the Bulldog offense to just 45 yards in the opening half.
In the second half, the Vikings found the end zone three times in the third quarter, the first coming on a 72-yard run by Brown. Lowndes extended its lead with a 47-yard interception return for a score by Joc Alexander.
On their second offensive possession of the third quarter, Arvin Berry found the end zone on an 8-yard run, giving the Vikings a 21-0 lead in the second half.
The Vikings capped off the scoring with a 31-yard punt return by Burgman with less than 40 seconds to play.
Lowndes opens its regular season Aug. 31 against Luella.
It was a solid start to the 2012 season for the Lowndes Vikings.
- Local Sports
Prince Automotive donates new baseball equipment
Prince Automotive of Valdosta is supporting the Valdosta community through its partnership with the Valdosta/Lowndes County Recreation Department. The dealership has joined forces with the national Chevrolet Youth Baseball program to provide new equipment, instructional clinics, and a monetary donation.
Needmore holds final races before big Memorial Day weekend
Saturday night racing at Needmore Speedway saw some new faces in victory lane.
That wasn’t the case in the Late Model division, as Valdosta's Gene Ross drove to victory once again, but not without some close competition from Steven Roberts who came in second.
In the Limited Late Model class, it was another win for Cole Exum, with Gene Maine finishing second in the NAPA Auto Parts special.
VSU softball wins South Region, headed to nationals
For the third time in four years, and second in a row, Valdosta State’s softball team will play in the national championship tournament.
The Blazers won their third South Region championship Saturday, beating Alabama-Huntsville 8-3 in game three of the best-of-three series at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park.
VSU baseball season comes to an end
Delta State scored seven unanswered runs to defeat Valdosta State 7-2 in an elimination game of the NCAA South Region Tournament at the UT Baseball Field Saturday afternoon.
Blazers take 1-0 series lead
Angela O’Connor launched a pinch-hit two-run home run over the left-field fence, tying the game against Alabama-Huntsville in the bottom of the sixth inning, and sparking the Blazers and their fans along the way.
Blazer baseball stays alive, beats Stillman
Valdosta State scored five runs in the first inning to defeat Stillman 6-2 in an elimination game of the NCAA South Region Tournament at UT Baseball Field Friday morning.
Lowndes’ Harwell, Wortham sign with Valdosta State
Lowndes’ Ty Harwell and David Wortham won’t have to go far to play college baseball.
Blazers host respected rival UAH in Super Regional
One would expect a matchup featuring two of the top softball programs in Division II to come in the national championship game.
Unfortunately for Valdosta State and Alabama-Huntsville, who have combined to appear in four straight national championship games, they won’t be meeting in title game on Memorial Day in Salem, Va.
Pop Warner Football coming to Valdosta
Pop Warner Football is coming to Valdosta.
The nationally known organization that puts an emphasis on education and developing American youth has been established in the Valdosta area and will begin playing football this August.
Blazers lose to Delta State, fall to loser’s bracket
If the Valdosta State baseball team is going to win the South Region Tournament, the Blazers going to have to do it from the loser’s bracket.
The Blazers (33-17) dropped their first game of the tournament Thursday, falling to Delta State 4-2 at UT Baseball Stadium.
VSU will face Stillman College, which lost to No. 1 seed and tournament host Tampa Thursday, Friday at 11 a.m. to advance to the weekend portion of the tournament. The loser will be eliminated.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Prince Automotive donates new baseball equipment