MACON – Cayden Cochran threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Valdosta State to a season-opening 36-21 victory over Fort Valley State on Saturday.
Cochran was 20-of-32 for 285 yards passing to lead the Blazers, the defending Division II national champions and No. 1 in the AFCA Division II poll.
Cedric O’Neal added 94 and Austin Scott added 79 yards rushing as Valdosta State had 454 yards of offense.
Fort Valley State’s Eugene Smith threw for 287 yards and ran for 41 and two touchdowns, but also was sacked four times, including 2½ from Valdosta State’s Lawrence Virgil.
Cochran hit Willie Downs on a 38-yard touchdown pass to give the Blazers a 36-8 lead with 13:21 left in the third quarter.
Downs finished with three catches for 95 yards and two scores, and Regginald Lewis had six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
De’Angelo Smith caught three passes for 122 yards for Fort Valley State.
West Alabama 42, Clark Atlanta 6
LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Kyle Caldwell threw two touchdown passes to lead West Alabama to a 42-6 victory over Clark Atlanta, ruining Kevin Weston’s debut as Panthers coach.
Clark was held to 153 total yards and didn’t score until Montavious Taylor’s 1-yard run with 10:55 left in the game.
Bradley Battles led Clark with 50 yards rushing and Taylor added 42.
Javae Swindle led West Alabama, No. 16 in Division II, with 108 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Howard 27, Morehouse 16
WASHINGTON – Howard’s Greg McGhee threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bison past Morehouse 27-16 in the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic at RFK Stadium in Washington.
Howard (1-1) has won all three of the classics against Morehouse (0-1). McGhee was 21-of-27.
Morehouse had 359 yards of offense, but quarterback Joshua Harris was sacked nine times and threw an interception.
Harris, who threw for 193 yards and rushed for 78, threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Sartin in the third quarter.
Shelton Hamilton’s 3-yard run cut Morehouse’s deficit to 27-16.
West Georgia 31, Mars Hill 21
MARS HILL, N.C. – Quan Jones rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown to lead West Georgia to a season-opening 31-21 victory over Mars Hill.
Rocky Capobianco returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown and Dallas Dickey scored on a 1-yard run for the Wolves.
West Georgia also blocked a punt and ran it back for score.
Mars Hill led 14-10 at halftime, but took the lead on the blocked punt return and added to it on Jones’ 7-yard touchdown run with 7:27 left in the third quarter.
Lindsey Wilson 50, Reinhardt 45
WALESKA – L.J. Stegall rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns, but Reinhardt’s fourth-quarter rally fell short as Lindsey Wilson held off the Eagles 50-45 in the first home game in program history.
Reinhardt (0-2) scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get closer after Ryan Thompson’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Sam Jones with 3:51 left.
The Eagles rushed for 341 yards and Johnathon Chamblee and Thompson combined two throw for 241 yards and two scores.
Branden Cresap was 26-of-37 for 417 yards and four touchdowns for Lindsey Wilson.
Charleston Southern 23, Shorter 15
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Malcolm Dixon threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 102 more to lead Charleston Southern to a 23-15 victory over Shorter.
Bradley Moon rushed for 120 yards for Shorter (0-1), which led 7-0 on Eric Dodson’s 50-yard pass to Kirk Wilson.
The Hawks didn’t score again until Roderick Jones’ 9-yard run with 10:56 left in the game.
Dodson finished with 92 yards passing and 70 rushing.
Maryville 37, Berry 0
ROME – Travis Felder rushed for 95 yards and three touchdowns to lead Maryville College to a 37-0 victory over Berry, spoiling the first game in program history.
Maryville (1-0) led 21-0 at halftime and finished with 516 yards of offense, 283 on the ground.
Adam Sandin was 13-of-24 for 123 yards and rushed for 21 yards to lead Berry.
Anthony Batey led the Vikings with 15 tackles.