FORT VALLEY, Ga. – The Wildcats did what they had to do for the Saturday afternoon victory. Fort Valley State’s defense showed up and held the Kentucky State attack in check and prevailed with a 9-7 gridiron win.
On 4th-and-15 from their own 42-yard line, the Thorobreds (0-2) quarterback Jonathan Jerry scrambled out of the pocket into the open field only to have the Wildcats (2-0) Tim Alderman hunt him down three yards short to turn over the ball with 1:35 left. FVSU took three knees and sealed the tight win.
The Blue & Gold defense improved upon its 209 yards allowed last weekend with only 170 given up Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats defenders held the Thorobreds triple option to 124 yards on 40 carries for only 3.1 yards per rush, while they gave up only 46 yards through the air.
Following a scoreless first quarter, FVSU continued what would be over a nine-minute scoring drive into the second frame. On 4th-and-goal, quarterback Kelvin Durham slipped into the endzone behind center Emanuel Boone for the touchdown at 9:58 left in the half.
The FVSU recorded a key goal-line stand to end the first half. After a 23-yard pass took the ball to the home 8-yard line, KSU only moved the ball five yards to set up 4th down with five seconds left. Dontrell Childs was stuffed by FVSU linebacker Ethan Manns after a yard gain to keep it 6-0 FVSU.
The Wildcats took the opening second-half possession 64 yards on seven plays for the key points of the game. Coming after the KSU defense held on 3rd-and-8, FVSU freshman kicker Rodney Williams, Jr., connected on a 28-yard field goal at 11:32 in the third quarter to make it 9-0.
Following a 71-yard return on the ensuing kick-off, Thorobred running back Shaquan Oliver rumbled in from four yards five plays later to pull the visitors to with two points, 9-7, at 9:00 left in the third.
Neither offense was able to put any more points on the board for the final 24 minutes with the Alderman stop on the long KSU 4th down quarterback run sealing the home win.
Head coach Shawn Gibbs claimed his second win in as many games at the helm, including his first home victory.
Linebacker Adeon Farmer paced the FVSU defense with 11 total tackles and one for a loss. Tyler Moore added nine stops with a tackle for loss, while Dialo Mosley had nine as well. Christian Maddox and defensive tackle Caleb Thomas recorded seven tackles apiece, while Alderman contributed four tackles, two for a loss of 13 yards and a quarterback hurry.
The FVSU offense did not post big numbers, but balanced final totals. Of the 270 yards of total offense, quarterback Kelvin Durham connected on 15 of 22 for 170 yards and ran for another 17 yards on five rushes, including the team’s lone touchdown. Running back Emanuel Wilson had tougher sledding with only 73 yards on 23 rushes. Cordell Pimienta and Corintheus Edmonds led the wide receiving corps with five catches for 43 yards and three for 65 yards.
Childs led the KSU offense with 46 yards rushing on 13 attempts.
FVSU remains at home for Week 3 against Allen University. The contest will start at 2 p.m. on the Wildcat Stadium turf.