ETTRICK, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State had never been on the playoff stage, but Saturday was business as usual for the Trojans. Latrell Scott and company topped LIU-Post, 28-17, in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, and have now won ten straight games.
Tarian Ayres returned as the starting quarterback and opened the afternoon's scoring. Ayres tallied the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter on a 12-yard QB keeper to give VSU a 7-0 lead. The Pioneers would answer in the second with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at seven, but Andre Rawls quickly put the Trojans back on top, picking off a pass and returning it 83 yards for the touchdown, giving VSU a 14-7 lead.
Post would end the second with a touchdown and a field goal to take a 17-14 lead into halftime, but once again, Virginia State responded. Running back Kavon Bellamy scored a one-yard rushing touchdown in the third to put the Trojans ahead, then added another rushing score in the fourth quarter to slam the door for the VSU win.
Bellamy finished the day with 131 rushing yards on 29 carries and the two touchdowns. Jaivon Smallwood pulled in three receptions for 119 yards, while Ayres threw for 151 yards, and rushed for an additional 45 in his return to action. The Trojan defense also got to Post with three interceptions.
Virginia State moves onto the second round, where the Trojans will travel to Bloomsburg (PA) on Saturday for a noon kickoff. The Huskies are 10-1 on the season and are coming off their first loss, suffered in their conference championship game.