NEWPORT NEWS, Va. After trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, the Southern Virginia Football team mounted a comeback to win the game 14-10 and take the Oyster Bowl over Apprentice. With the Knights trailing late in the first half, Quarterback Sam Trulock led a quick drive which culminated in a 4-yard pass to Ryan McGinn to get SVU on the board and within touching distance of the Shipbuilders. The highlight of the drive was a 41-yard pass to Travis Duffey to get the Knights in to the red zone.
"This is a fantastic feeling," said Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald. "With the struggles we have had this season, it was tough for our team. But, we persevered, and worked harder. A result like this is a testament of the work these guys have put in. I'm happy to get this win, and it ends the season on a good note, and gets us heading into the right direction for the off-season."
The win for the Knights is the first in the program's history over the Shipbuilders. In the beginning it looked like the hosts would notch another win over SVU, as they scored the first touchdown, and then added to the score with a field goal late in the second quarter. The first Knight scoring drive started with 1:19 on the clock, and provided the visitors with the momentum heading into the second half.
The team had several opportunities to score, and SVU coaches were fearful of a repeat performance from last week, when SVU had six trips into the red zone, and scored on only half of them. A missed field goal in the second quarter did not haunt the Knights as they returned for the second half, and scored on their second drive of the quarter. A nine play 68-yard drive culminated in six-yard Brandon Ostler rush for the winning touchdown.
"We had opportunities like last week," said Fitzgerald. "I'm pleased that we learned our lessons from the Webber loss, and got the points when we had the chance. Successful teams capitalize on the scoring chances. We did that today, and it paid off."
Ostler was the leading rusher for the Knights as he totaled 48-yards on 18 carries. Trulock again led the Knights in passing as went 10 for 24 for 180 yards and one touchdown in his final collegiate game. Daniel Bokinsky was the leading Knight receiver as he collected four passes for 65-yards. McGinn also hauled in four passes for 48-yards along with the touchdown in the first half.
On the defensive end of the ball Vernon Joines led SVU in total tackles with 10. For his play Joines was named the MVP of the Oyster Bowl Matt Mellor followed with nine tackles. Ryan Colt, in his last game as a Knight assisted on a sack to go along with his six total tackles.
"A record can be deceiving," said Fitzgerald. "Looking past the record, one can see that we were competitive in our games, and that we made progress throughout the season. We had a tremendous amount of freshmen participation this season. You always go through growing pains when you are so young, but we kept working and improving, and the second half of the season had more positive results than negative ones. We have areas to improve, but the season ended in a great way."
The Knights finish 3-8 on the season. The season record matches the finish of the 2008 team. SVU now stands at 1-5 in the series with the Builders.