Late Drive Sinks Knights Against Apprentice

BUENA VISTA, Va. - Taking a lead in to the forth quarter, the Southern Virginia University football was looking for a second consecutive win over the Apprentice School, but a late drive by the visitors, gave the Shipbuilders a 20-18 win. The Knights were looking to get back to winning ways, and had a 15-9 lead going in to the fourth quarter. A Tyler Bowen 32-yard field goal at the 7:09 mark of the fourth quarter extended the lead, and things looked to be going the hosts' way. Apprentice responded with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 16-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the winner for the visitors.

Things started on the wrong foot for the Knights, as the Builders marched 73-yards on their first drive of the game, and rushed home from 2-yards out, to take a 7-0 first quarter lead. It could easily have spiraled out of control, as SVU fumbled the ball on its first drive of the game, and the Builders had good field position.

The hosts dug deep for a defensive stop, and forced Apprentice to give up the ball. SVU's next drive provided little for the Knights, and they were forced to punt. Matt Mellor kicked off a beauty of a kick that landed on the 2-yard line, and the defense had the visitors pinned in where they wanted them.

With Apprentice on its own goal line, Luke Herndon recorded a safety to get the Knights on the board. Momentum swung to the hosts with the safety, and on the ensuing drive Zach Garner led the Knights on a 49-yard drive that finished with a Steven Andreasen 4-yard run for a touchdown. The Knights had a lead, and were looking to keep it.

The Builders quickly responded, and were back on top at the end of the first quarter, as the Apprentice runner broke free from several SVU tackles, and ran to the endzone for a 35-yard touchdown, and a 14-9 lead for the Builders. The scoring would be done for the first half, and the Knights would look to regroup heading in to the second term.

The Knights would get the lead back as Chris Harper pulled in a 13-yard screen pass from Garner. A blocked PAT by the Builders kept the game close, and Bowen's field goal gave the Knights daylight before the Builders mounted the comeback drive for the win.

Garner had a strong afternoon, with 161-yards through the air, and a touchdown. Brick Wilce made big plays for the Knights, and pulled down a highlight reel play in the fourth quarter to help the Knights get points. Wilce pulled in 5-catches for 97-yards. On the ground Andreasen and Steven Scott combined for 150-yards on the ground.

SVU totaled 287-yards to Apprentice's 254. Defensively, SVU was led by Brett Kassel, who wrangled down eight Builders. Josh Hodges made a strong showing in the secondary for the Knights, as he intercepted two different balls from the Apprentice quarterback. Tommy Davidson contributed 7-more tackles on the afternoon.

The loss dropped the Knights to 3-6 on the season. SVU will be on the road for its next game, as the team will travel to play Kentucky Christian. This will be a renewal of a series with the Knights of KCU, as the teams last met in the 2008 season, with Southern Virginia winning 30-27 on a last-second field goal.