Special Teams, Defense Propels Fort Valley State Victory Over Benedict
Fort Valley State 34, Benedict 30
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fort Valley State University scored 20 points off a pair of blocked punts and an interception return, and then held off a late Benedict rally to defeat the Tigers 35-30 in the annual Augusta City Classic played Saturday afternoon at Lucy Laney Stadium.
Quarterback Eugene Smith also threw for 197 yards and a touchdown, completing 12-of-22 passes , and Jonquez Sanders to lead the Wildcats, (2-2, 2-0 SIAC), to its second consecutive victory, after starting the season 0-2. Ja’Bioas Glenn scored on a 34-yard interception return and was named Defensive MVP of the Classic.
After starting the season 2-0 Benedict, now 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the SIAC, was held to -16 yards rushing on the day, although quarterback Marcus Graham was sacked four times and had -32 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Graham completed 15-of-42 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions.
Fort Valley took an early 13-0 lead after scoring on a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone by Stefon Harper and a Jamie Walker 9-yard touchdown reception from Smith. Benedict responded with 17 unanswered points after Rodney Hall took a Fort Valley State kickoff 90-yards, which was followed by a 5-yard Thomas Gillie touchdown reception and a Eduardo Hernandez field goal, which gave the Tigers a 17-13 lead minutes before the half. Before the period ended, however, Brian Curry’s second punt attempt was blocked, which was recovered by Calvin Jackson, which gave the Wildcats a go-ahead score.
Fort Valley will have its home opener next week against Tuskegee, while Benedict will also host Miles for its home opener for the season.