Fort Valley State went and pulled a “Fort Valley” again, making it to the SIAC Championship game for the second year in a row after humble beginnings. Last season was slightly more dramatic with a midseason quarterback change along with their fate being decided in the final game of the regular season. The Wildcats this year wrapped up the SIAC East in week nine, but let’s look back at the first five weeks of the season.
FVSU didn’t pick up its first win of the season until week four, after losses to West Georgia and Miles College sandwiched a canceled game versus Valdosta State due to weather. Then in almost identical fashion to the previous season, the Wildcats pulled out a multiple overtime victory at home in its first divisional game of the year. FVSU gave the same treatment to Benedict as they did to Clark Atlanta in 2016, winning 31-28.
Offense wakes up
The Wildcats scored multiple touchdowns in a game for the first time all year against Benedict, a streak it has kept intact ever since. The next week would be a tall order against Southern University out of the SWAC, but FVSU did fairly well for a Division II team, losing 31-14.
Fort Valley returned to the SIAC on a mission, averaging 34 points a contest over its next three games. CAU, Lane College and Central State University all got a taste of sweet chin music from down in the “Valley.”
New QB, Same results
The man who replaced last year’s savior, Otis Brown, is Slade Jarman, a transfer from Mississippi Valley State University. Jarman has the same type of size as Brown, at 6’4 and 220 pounds. If it wasn’t for a guy named Johnathon McCrary, Jarman would statistically be considered the best quarterback in the SIAC.
He’s second in the SIAC in passing yards per game, first in passing efficiency, and second in total offensive yards. The junior from Pensacola, Florida, has 14 touchdowns against four interceptions on the season.
Jarman’s main weapons on the outside are a pair of freshman, Jeremy Glinton, and Tajee Steele. Glinton is averaging 52 receiving yards while Steele is just a few yards behind at 49 per game. Nothing can top the experience of Chauncey Jackson, a junior running back who scored the deciding touchdowns last year versus both CAU and Kentucky State.
Porter rolling along
Coach Kevin Porter continues to be the man to beat in the SIAC East since his arrival at Fort Valley two years ago. It’s hard to find fault in a coach who has taken his team to the SIAC championship in each of his first two seasons. One thing Porter hasn’t done yet, however, is to defeat Miles or Tuskegee, two of the big dogs in the conference. Porter is 0-2 versus Miles and has yet to face Tuskegee. In a couple of weeks, he and the Wildcats will have the opportunity to face the winner from the SIAC West and prove beyond any doubt just how good Fort Valley State University really is.