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 in Macon on Saturday.
Cochran was 20-of-32 passing for 285 yards to lead the Blazers, the defending Division II national champions and No. 1 in the AFCA Division II poll.
Cedric O’Neal added 94 passing, 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 was sacked four times, including 2.5 by 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: Kyle Caldwell threw two touchdown passes to lead the host Tigers to a 42-6 victory over the Panthers, ruining Kevin Weston’s debut as Clark Atlanta 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: Greg McGhee threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bison past the Maroon Tigers 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: Quan Jones rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown to lead the Wolves to a season-opening 31-21 victory over the host Lions.
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.
Charleston Southern 23, Shorter 15
Georgia Military 52, Atlanta Sports 7
Howard 27, Morehouse 16
Lindsey Wilson 50, Reinhardt 45
Point University 35, Edward Waters 22
Valdosta State 36, Fort Valley State 21
West Alabama 42, Clark Atlanta 6
West Georgia 31, Mars Hill 21