by David Fatzinger
In the 41-year history of this “Titletown” rivalry, Lowndes had never scored more than 28 points against cross-town rival, Valdosta. That record ended in Friday night’s Great American Rivalry Series game between the Lowndes Vikings and the Valdosta Wildcats. Lowndes 57-15 victory Friday night was a complete domination from start to finish by Coach Randy McPherson’s Vikings and re-wrote the record books in the history of the rivalry.
These two southeastern Georgia schools have fought many tough battles going back through the years, but Friday night’s game was a one-sided beat-down from start to finish. The Vikings jumped out to an early 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and stretched that lead to 30-7 at halftime, eclipsing the most points ever scored in a whole series game by Lowndes. The highlight of the first half was a 10-play 99-yard drive for Lowndes at the end of the first half that put the game out of reach.
In the second half, the Vikings continued to pile it on early into the third period scoring on their first three drives of the half and pushing the lead to 51-7 at the end of the period. In the final quarter, the Vikings inserted the second stringers and coasted the rest of the way home.
The Viking’s rushing attack was unstoppable as they compiled 452 yards on the ground during the game and an additional 150 yards in the air. But the individual performer of the game was Lowndes senior and strong safety Gerald Orta, whose performance set the tone for a complete domination by the Vikings.
On defense, Orta managed six tackles and twoassists, along with two interceptions and a safety. And on the offensive side of the ball, Orta totaled 92 yards on kick returns, had two receptions for 61 yards, and scored on a two-point conversion. In a word, Orta was everywhere in this game, and his performance earned him a unanimous vote by the local media as Great American Rivalry Series Game MVP.
While Orta’s performance was one that will be remembered in the history of this rivalry, it was the entire Viking team that proved itself on Friday night. Lowndes proved they are not only one of the best teams in the State of Georgia, but possibly in the country. And if they continue to play with this type of intensity and team effort, they very well may win their fourth Georgia State AAAA Title in the last six years in the coming months.
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- Valdosta vs. Lowndes – 2009