ATHENS, WV. The 2010 season opener for the Southern Virginia Football team followed a similar script from a year ago, as they fell to Concord again 72-21. A team with more returners than any previous season in the program's history could not find the solution to a solid running and passing game from the Mountain Lions. Concord (1-0) racked up 786-yards of offense, and scored on seven of its first eight possessions.
SVU (0-1) was unable to get anything going offensively, and could muster only 186-yards of offense. The Knights had an opportunity to make the game close at the end of the first quarter when Zach Garner led a drive into the Concord end, but a missed field goal left the visitors with nothing, and Concord promptly turned around and marched for a score to give the hosts a commanding lead they would not relinquish.
Concord scored twice more before a Steven Andreasen run of 33-yards got the Knights on the scoreboard. The drive encompassed 6-plays, and went for 31-yards before Andreasen scampered for the score.
Another 60+-yard drive culminated in a Garner-to-Brick Wilce pass for a touchdown, and the Knights had already scored more than the previous encounter a year ago between the two teams. Concord however, was finding it hard not to score, and they went in to the half scoring, and taking a 48-14 lead over SVU.
A plus in the game for the Knights was special teams, as the visitors continued to get solid returns from Colby Massa and Vance Bynum, and big punts from Matt Mellor. Mellor had a long of 62-yards in the second half, and continually put the Mountain Lions in poor field position, but the Concord offense was clicking, and found ways to overcome the long fields.
Mitch Stevenson finished the scoring for the Knights in the fourth quarter, after running the ball in from the 1-yard line. The drive had gone for 12-plays and 61-yards, but was scored after the game was no longer in doubt.
Garner went 14-for-26 for 116-yards and a touchdown, but three interceptions were costly for the sophomore. Coaches will look to a positive 7.9 yard per pass play average as a positive to build on heading in to the next week. Andreasen and Steven Scott combined for 23-carries and 104-yards of rushing, while Wilce led the Knights with 5-receptions, and Ryan McGinn totaled 45-yards on two catches.
Austin Cheney, Brett Kassel and Mellor led SVU in tackles with 8-total tackles a piece, with the latter two players forcing fumbles. Penalties were almost non-existent for the visitors, as they were called only 4-times for 39-yards.
SVU will look to regroup, and will have extra days to prepare for the home opener Sept. 3, when the Knights will host Radford. Kickoff for the game at Parry McCluer High School will be at 7:30 pm.