Red-hot Valiants joust with Knights

November 1, 2018

VALDOSTA –– A week after their most prolific scoring output of the season, the Valwood Valiants (7-3, 1-2 GISA Region 3-3A) look to stay hot when the Deerfield-Windsor Knights (5-4, 0-3) visit Goddard Field tonight.

The Valiants scored a season-high 56 points in three quarters in a 14-point win against the Brookwood Warriors last week. The Valiants have averaged 52.5 points and 590.5 yards total offense during their two-game winning streak.

Longtime region foe Deerfield-Windsor is still searching for its first region win of the season. The Knights have lost three straight games after a 42-7 blowout loss to region-leading Tiftarea last week.

“First thing we want to do is continue to try to establish the run,” Valwood coach Justin Henderson said. “Obviously, it’s been working for us and it’s opened stuff up in our passing game. That would be first and foremost –– stick to a heavy dose of run and open some of these passing windows.

“Caleb (Burns) has done an excellent job of executing the last couple of weeks. Last week, we had our best passing output despite all the rushing yards and the week before, we had our second best passing output.”

Valwood senior quarterback Caleb Burns hit on 9-of-18 passes for 246 yards and five TDs against Brookwood last week. Burns also got strong performances from the running back position as fellow seniors Ashton McNeil and Willie Roberson combined for 282 yards and three TDs.

The Valiants have won four of the last five against the Knights and each of the last three meetings.

The Deerfield defense comes into tonight's game allowing 19.7 points per game while the offense produced 14 points per game.

“They’re a typical Deerfield team –– they’re big and strong and have a heavy running game as well,” Henderson said. “We’ll have to gang tackle. And, just like us, they feed off their running game to open up stuff in the passing game. We’re going to have to be disciplined on defense. … Defensively, they get after you. They’re not the quickest group but they’re big and strong.”