FORT VALLEY -- At this rate, referees might have elbow and shoulder pain after officiating Fort Valley State football games.
As it is, the Wildcats are certainly inducing headaches on their own sidelines.
Despite an inability to go more than handful of plays against lesser competition much of the day without drawing a broad variety flags, Fort Valley State rolled to a 52-19 win Saturday over Concordia-Selma on homecoming at Wildcat Stadium.
FVSU improved to 3-5 in breaking a three-game losing streak while Concordia fell to 1-6.
The Wildcats have their third and final home game in six days when Morehouse visits in SIAC play. And officials for that game might need to loosening up their arms in pregame, certainly based on nearly every other FVSU outing all season.
FVSU crammed a games worth of penalties in the first half alone, racking up 16 flags for 122 yards. The Wildcats entered the game averaging 14 flags for 129 yards, so they were above/below average in both categories by early in the third quarter.
We try to discipline each other during the week to get prepared for the game, said FVSU linebacker LeRon Furr, who was clearly taken aback at what the numbers actually were. We work constantly, every week.
FVSU did tighten up for only five flags in the second half for 52 yards to total 21 for 174.
Well eliminate them next week, FVSU head coach Donald Pittman said. What were gonna do is were gonna put some peer pressure on them. Instead of having that individual (be punished), the whole team is going to (be punished).
Substantially more often than not, FVSU possessions began with a 5-yard penalty of some sort, a battle between delay and procedure developing. Yet the Wildcats, thanks in part to a homecoming opponent, overcame them, with the playmaking ability of Malcolm Eady at quarterback a big reason.
The freshman from Swainsboro got the start in place of senior Eugene Smith. Eady said he was told early in the week he would start, but Pittman said Smith came up injured in pregame warmups and couldnt go.
We were just more efficient (Saturday), Eady said. We moved the chains a lot. Everybody came together.
Eady did damage in three quarters of action. He threw for two touchdowns and 167 yards on an 11-for-13 afternoon with no interceptions or sacks. Eady ran for 102 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns.
I knew he could manage the offense just as well as Eugene, Furr said. But I didnt know he was gonna come out there and do this.
Eady said early in the week that the Wildcats should score 50 on the Hornets, and he got his wish when backup quarterback Jhyree Harris connected with Rashad James for 28 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Michael Bellamy added 79 yards on seven carries, and tight end Donte Warren caught four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. DeAngelo Smith had three catches for 73 yards and a score.
Chris Ward (Southwest) added a 37-yard field goal in the first half as the Wildcats took a 31-0 lead at intermission.
FVSU blocked two punts, by Sedrick Rowe and JaBoais Glenn.
Concordia came up with an impressive interception return late by Damien Samuel, who picked Harris off about seven yards deep in the end and returned it the distance for a second touchdown with 7:18 left in the game.
The Hornets then got a fumble and returned it to the 6 and scored less than a minute later.
FVSU was credited with 551 yards total offense on 78 plays.