After injuring his non-throwing shoulder last week against Benedict, Fort Valley State quarterback Otis Brown has been listed as questionable for the team’s game with undefeated Alderson Broaddus on Saturday.
Brown led the team to back-to-back victories once he secured the starting position in the second week of the season -- passing for 366 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns during the span -- before injuring his left shoulder early in the second quarter against the Tigers.
Although Brown sat the remainder of the game, head coach Donald Pittman called the injury “minor” and expects the sophomore to return to action next week against Kentucky State if he does not play Saturday.
If Brown cannot suit up, senior Malcolm Eady will earn the nod.
“Next man up, that’s our theme,” Pittman said. “That’s what we’re going to do. Next man up has to do the job.”
And that’s exactly what Eady did in the team’s 33-3 victory over winless Benedict when he was called off the bench. His first play from scrimmage was a 2-yard rushing touchdown, one of three total touchdowns on the day for the Swainsboro native to go with his 98 yards passing.
“It was good to know Malcolm Eady could come off the bench and make some plays,” Pittman said.
But Eady wasn’t the only Wildcats player making plays. The three points allowed marked the lowest by the FVSU defense in a game this season. The defensive effort included an interception returned for a touchdown and another interception returned 45 yards to the 2 -- both by free safety George Maxey. Benedict passed for 5 yards in the game.
“The defense played tough, and they stopped the run, ran to the ball and made plays,” Pittman said. “There was always three-plus people running to the ball at all times. It was a confidence builder for the defense and the whole team. I left feeling pretty good about our efforts.”
While the opponent is more difficult this week, Pittman said he believes the defense will continue to improve because of greater chemistry and better positioning. The rush defense, specifically, will be of utmost importance for the Wildcats against Alderson Broaddus, according to Pittman.
Alderson Broaddus, a Division II program in West Virginia, has opened its season with four wins.
“It’ll be great if we can limit their running game -- if we can stop their run, make them one dimensional,” Pittman said. “That would be great.”
Pittman said the Battlers will be “maybe the third” toughest opponent FVSU will face in 2015, behind opening-week foe Delta State and Florida Tech, which the Wildcats host Oct. 17.
“The way we’re looking at it is that they’re 4-0,” Pittman said. “Alderson Broaddus will definitely show us where we are, and it will help us so far as strength of schedule.”
A victory would increase FVSU’s winning streak to four, the longest such streak for the Wildcats since November of 2012. But while Pittman said the streak is enjoyable for players, staff and fans, his team takes it on a weekly process.
“We play game-by-game, and it’s always nice to have a winning streak going. We don’t count them; we just take game-by-game,” Pittman said. “We hope we can continue winning.”