It took a 14-point comeback in the final five minutes and three overtimes, but the Fort Valley State Wildcats got their first win of the season by defeating Clark Atlanta 37-31 on Saturday.
Chauncey Jackson scored from 1 yard out after the Wildcats’ defense held Clark Atlanta out of the end zone on its possession in the third overtime.
Five who mattered
Brian Walker: The senior defensive back, who was ineligible last year, made a triumphant return to his home field by picking off two passes and recording a sack. He returned his second interception 35 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 24 with only 2:11 left in regulation.
Otis Brown: Brown, also a senior, started most of last year at quarterback, but is a full-time wide receiver this year. He had eight receptions for 98 yards and three touchdowns.
Demontay Jones: The freshman quarterback from Quitman struggled at times but played big late, connecting with Brown with five minutes left in regulation to cut Clark Atlanta’s lead to 24-17. Jones added another touchdown in the second overtime and ended the game with three touchdowns and 140 yards passing.
Jamari Clark and Chauncey Jackson: The Fort Valley State running game has struggled so far this year, but Clark ran for 85 yards and Jackson added 34 and the winning touchdown.
An injury seemed to ignite Fort Valley State. Defensive lineman Brodrick Lee was carted off the field with 2:20 left in regulation, and on the next play, Walker intercepted a Dashawn Blow pass and ran it back untouched for the tying score. After that, it was the Wildcats game to lose.
No. 1: It was Kevin Porter’s first win as the head coach at Fort Valley State.
Nice stop: Clark Atlanta elected to go for a touchdown in the third overtime instead of trying a field goal. But Fort Valley State’s defense rose to the occasion and stuffed a fourth-and-goal from the 1.
They said it
Walker on what it means to be back with the Wildcats: “It was so tough watching my team last year, and I wanted to get back and do what I could to help this team win . Coach Porter has meant so much to us, and he makes us want to play hard all the time. We just did not quit, and we were able to battle back. I knew I had to make a big play late in the game, and once I intercepted it, I knew I was going to score. “
Brown on the switch to receiver: “When they asked me to do it, I said, ‘Sure. Why not?’ I mean I have honestly never played receiver in my entire football career, but I love it now. We have a great young quarterback in Demontay Jones, and he is only going to get better as the year goes by.”
Porter on the win: “I have learned that no win no matter where you are is easy, and this one was definitely not easy. But these guys battled all the way and found a way to get it done.”
Porter on the unselfishness of his team: “Otis Brown is a perfect example of that. This guy is a pretty good quarterback, and we asked him very late to make the move to receiver. He never once complained and did it for the team. We all believe that he can be one of the better receivers in the conference.”
Fort Valley State plays Saturday at Benedict.