BUENA VISTA, Va. The Southern Virginia Football team struggled through a first quarter before the team got on the board, and then overwhelmed Radford with 44-unanswered points to move to .500 on the season, and win it's season opener, 44-6. A scoreless first quarter saw he Knights run only 8-plays on offense. SVU never really threatened in the first quarter, and took the struggles in to the second quarter.
The offense may have been struggling, but the defense was finding it's groove early on. Defensive standouts Matt Mellor and Tommy Davidson were leading a defense that allowed only 60-total offensive yards all night. The duo combined for 17-total tackles, and had several stops in the Radford backfield to stop Highlander drives.
The Knights regrouped in the second quarter, and started to move the ball with better fluidity. Zach Garner led the offense on a 2-play drive that culminated in a 10-yard pass from Garner to Tyler Ledoux for the first score, and the first lead of the season for the Knights. Radford was unable to move the ball on the next drive, and the Knights bogged down on offense once more. A Mellor punt of 70-yards pinned the visitors at the 1-yard line. On the ensuing play, the defense for the hosts stopped Radford in the end zone for the safety and the 9-0 lead.
SVU was finding a rhythm now, and Garner had a quick strike to Derek Chapman for 16-yards, and a touchdown for a 16-0 halftime lead. The Knights resumed scoring in the third, as Garner moved quickly with a 30-yard strike to Dewayne Beamon for a 23-0 lead. Garner would finish soon after the drive, and would end on 10-for-21 passing for 105-yards and three touchdowns.
Rushing was working well for the Knights as well, with Steven Andreasen rushing 22-times, and racking up 75-yards. SVU was able to gain 149-yards on the ground, and the rushing attack was helping the Knights find the space to go through the air. One thing both teams were having struggles with was penalties. Early season jitters were evident, as the both sides combined for 41-penalties for 337-yards.
SVU overcame the penalties in the third, and after Garner sat down, Mitch Stevenson took over and led two different scoring drives, hitting Ryan McGinn for 53-yard touchdown pass, and Beamon for 25-yards. Boyd McCauley finished off the scoring with a 7-yard camper in the fourth quarter. The Knights were hoping for the shutout, but a fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Highlanders erased the zero on the board for the Highlanders.
The hosts finished with 364-yards of total offense. With the win SVU moves to 1-1, and carries momentum into an historic game for the SVU program. The team travels to play first-year program Lindsey Wilson, and the game will be nationally broadcasted on the Victory Sports Network Game of the Week. Kickoff for the game is 2:00 pm.