|Kavon Bellamy scores his second TD (photo by Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times Dispatch)|
Virginia State, appearing in their first-ever NCAA Division II football playoff game, defeated Long Island University-Post 28-17 Saturday. The Trojans, now 10-12 and ranked third in the ?? region, move on to face second-ranked Bloomsburg (Pa) University (10-1) next week
"They're tough. They're resilient and they refuse to lose," Virginia State head coach Latrell Scott said, according to the Hopewell News Patriot. "I call them hard-headed ... We feel like we're a battle-tested team and we just do whatever we have to do as a coaching staff and as a team to come out on top."
Virginia State scored a touchdown in each quarter and withstood a 17-point second quarter outburst by the Pioneers to hold on for the win.
“We’re proud of our kids,” Scott said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.“We’re extremely excited to be able to do this for our school, for our fans and for the community.”
The Trojans defense held one of the best Division II quarterbacks in the country, Steven Laurino, in check. Laurino had been averaging more than 300 yards a game passing and 54 yards rushing this season for a team that averaged 35 points a game this season. But the Pioneers got less than half of that as Laurino could only manage 260 yards and touchdown in the air along with eight rushes for seven yards and another TD.
Meanwhile, Kavon Bellamy led the VSU offense with 131 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Tarian Ayers, returning from a one-game suspension for a DUI arrest two weeks ago, solidly managed the Trojan offense, throwing for 131 yards and rushing for 45 yards and a touchdown.