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Valdosta State downed Winston-Salem State, 35-7, on Saturday, becoming the 2012 NCAA Division II football champions.
The Winston-Salem State Rams may have went undefeated in the regular season, with an unblemished 14-0 record, but it's the 11-2 Valdosta State Blazers who are heading home to "Titletown" with the NCAA Division II championship. The Blazers downed the Rams handily on Saturday, winning 35-7.
Valdosta State's Matt Pierce took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown to get the game started, and the Blazers went on to score two more touchdowns before the Rams got on the board. Valdosta State turned its first offensive possession into its second touchdown, when Cedric O'Neal rushed for a 24-yard touchdown on 4th-and-1.
It was the only time O'Neal found the end zone, but he was certainly the catalyst for the Blazers' success on Saturday. He carried the ball 24 times for 141 yards, while Austin Scott had 46 yards behind him. Quarterback Cayden Cochran threw for only 109 yards and a touchdown, but he also ran it in for the team's other two scores in the fourth quarter, to secure the lead.
Winston-Salem just couldn't find the end zone, and ultimately was downed by turnovers. Kameron Smith threw for 310 yards and a touchdown, but he had three crippling interceptions, while the Rams only mustered 108 rushing yards altogether.
This is Valdosta State's third national championship. Winston-Salem was hoping to be the first HBCU team to win a national title, and was only the second to ever appear in the game, but fell short.