DAWGS HEAD SOUTH: Halftime recap

National Championship game first half recap

The Bulldogs are in a shootout in the Division II National Championship against Valdosta State.

At halftime, the score is 28-24 in favor of the Blazers, who took the lead in the last seconds of the second quarter.

The scoring started quick as the Bulldogs took advantage of a missed Valdosta field goal and scores on their very first play from scrimmage.

Once again, it was a score via a trick play for the Bulldogs as Ferris junior wide receiver Jevon Shaw got the ball on a short pass from junior quarterback Jayru Campbell and tossed it to a wide open Keyondre Craig for a NCAA Division II Championship Game record 80-yard touchdown pass.

The Blazers responded quickly on their next drive. After traveling down to near the red zone, Valdosta sophomore quarterback Rogan Wells dropped back and delivered a strike to sophomore wide receiver Lio’undre Gallimore to tie the score at seven apiece.

The Bulldogs answered that score with a field goal from Ferris junior kicker Jackson Dieterle 52 yards out, which was also a Division II Championship Game record. Coming into this game, Dieterle was 7 of 18 on field goals for the season.

The score was 10-7 after the first quarter.

The second quarter is where this game really took off, with a total of 35 points scored in the quarter. The Blazers drove down the field once more and Wells threw his second touchdown of the game to Valdosta sophomore wide receiver Kenny Benjamin for a nine-yard score, making it 14-10 in favor of the Blazers.

After the Bulldogs were forced to punt, the Blazers muffed the punt and Ferris was able to recover the ball at the Blazers 13 yard-line. This led to a quick scoring drive for the Bulldogs, which resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Campbell to put the Bulldogs back on top 17-14.

However, once again, the Blazers would answer quickly, as Wells continued to torch the Ferris State defense to the tune of a 66-yard touchdown pass to Gallimore. And just like that, Valdosta took a 21-17 lead.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t back down from this fight, though, and retook the lead on their next possession as they drove 75 yards down the field for another lead change in this one. The drive resulted in an eight-yard scamper by Ferris junior wide receiver Davontae Harrington to give the Bulldogs a 24-21 lead.

Of course, the scoring wasn’t done just yet, as Valdosta managed to punch it in from a yard out on fourth and goal with just two seconds remaining before the half. The touchdown, courtesy of Valdosta freshman running back Seth McGill, put the Blazers up 28-24 at the break.

The Blazers were led in that half by Wells and Gallimore, as Wells threw for 242 yards on top of the three touchdown tosses he had. Gallimore has just two catches at the half, but both went for touchdowns and has resulted in 87 receiving yards.

For the Bulldogs, the ground game is leading the way as Campbell has 53 yards on the ground and a touchdown. In the receiving game, Craig leads the way with 76 yards on a pair of catches.

At the break, Valdosta has ran 42 plays for a whopping 335 yards in the half, while Ferris has ran 26 plays for 206 yards. Valdosta has had the ball for just under 19 minutes, while Ferris has had it for just over 11 minutes.

To start the second half, the Bulldogs will get the ball looking to regain the lead once again in this thriller of game so far.

For more coverage of the NCAA Division II National Championship, click here.