VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State University’s football team continued its unbeaten streak with a dominating 66-16 playoff win over fourth-ranked Bowie State on Nov. 24 at Valdosta’s …
VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State University’s football team continued its unbeaten streak with a dominating 66-16 playoff win over fourth-ranked Bowie State on Nov. 24 at Valdosta’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in the NCAA Division II second round of playoffs.
Valdosta won NCAA Division II titles in 2004, 2007 and 2012.
The Blazers, coached by father/son Kerwin Bell and assistant Kade Bell, a former Fleming Island High School quarterback, will host an NCAA Division II quarterfinal on Sat., Dec. 1 against third-seed Lenoir-Rhyne (12-1) with a 1 p.m. kickoff. Lenoir-Rhyne lost their season opener 36-32 to West Alabama then proceeded to win 12 straight games to get to Saturday’s game. Lenoir-Rhyne beat Florida Tech 43-21 in their first round playoff game then beat Wingate 21-17 last week to advance. Valdosta, the top seed, had a first round bye.
Kade Bell, the quarterbacks coach for Valdosta, has the Blazer offense percolating at a 53.45 points per game average with the Blazer defense holding opponents to just 20.36 points per game. Bolstering the high point total is an offense generating over 500 yards per game; 266 via air, 270 on the ground. Just three of the Blazers’ 11 games have ended with less than 50 points.
Two area athletes contributing to the now 11-0 season record for the Blazers are former Ridgeview High running back Qhahlin Patterson, a junior, and former Fleming Island High linebacker Jackson Bull, a freshman.
Patterson has played in 10 games for Valdosta with 249 rush yards on 43 carries with a 57 yard run against Delta State his longest run of the season.
Bull, a linebacker and special teams player, has 14 total tackles on the season with seven solo plus one tackle for a loss.
Also in the NCAA Division II playoffs was Fort Hays State University, featuring Orange Park High quarterback Jacob Mezera, who lost in the first round 38-27 to Indianapolis.
Kade Bell, who quarterbacked Fleming Island High before playing under his dad, Kerwin, at Jacksonville University, has been a quarterback coach for the Blazers since his dad arrived in Valdosta in 2016. Bell coached Jacksonville to the Pioneer Football League title in 2010 with a 42.2 points per game average.
Trent Turknett, an offensive analyst for the Blazers, is also a Fleming Island High graduate.