FERRUM, Va. Ferrum College was able to rack up a large amount of yards, but the Southern Virginia football team was able to hold the Panthers to 17-points, and scored 20 to get a first win in the series between the teams. The highlight for the game was a 70-yard interception return for a touchhdown by defensive lineman Fine Itaaehau. On his way to the end zone, Itaaehau broke six different tackles, and refused to go down on his way to the 6-points.
The defense was challenged all afternoon, as the Panthers totaled 387-yards on offense. In previous games Ferrum had used a potent running game to beat the Knights, and were looking for the same, but SVU was able to use a bend-and-not-break approach, with the hosts totaling 197-yards on the ground. Matt Mellor again led the way for the Knights, as he totaled 12-tackles, with Mark Newman playing an inspired game, and adding 13-tackles, and a handful of pass break-ups to the defensive effort.
SVU coaches were pleased with the effort, and saw the game as the arrival of the defense they had been expecting all season. The offense was more effective than earlier in the season, as they totaled 229-yards. Steven Scott led the way for the Knights on the ground, as he rushed 21-times for 111-yards, including the game-long of 33-yards.
Zach Garner moved the Knights through the air, as he connected 8-times for 96-yards, but more importantly, connected for two touchdowns. Garner linked up with Brick Wilce and Ryan McGinn for touchdowns, and helped the Knights secure the win. Wilce caught two other passes for a total of 35-yards, while McGinn hauled in two catches for 52-yards.
The Knights did all their scoring in the first half, as Itaaehau opened the scoring in the first quarter with his lumbering run to the end zone. FC replied, and tied the game up on the following drive. SVU went back to work, and Garner led a drive of of 4-plays for 59-yards that ended in McGinn's score, at the start of the second quarter.
Ferrum responded again, but could not even up the score, as they had to settle for a field goal, allowing the visitors to keep a lead they would not surrender. With 3:27 left on the board, Wilce would score the winning touchdown. The drive had used up only two plays, and gave the visitors what they needed for victory. The game was not done, as Ferrum scored once more in the fourth quarter to get within three points, but SVU would lock down the Panthers, and keep the score line the same for the rest of the competition.
The victory was the first in the series between the schools for SVU. With the win, the Knights move to 2-2 on the season. The team returns home for the next game, as SVU welcomes Brevard. The Knights will play the Tornadoes Sep. 25 at Parry McCluer High School, with a 4:00 pm start time.